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Long-tailed Cormorant - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Microcarbo africanus)

Alternative name: Reed Cormorant

Photo by Scottishdude
The Gambia, March, 2010
Microcarbo africanus

Phalacrocorax africanus

Identification

50-55 cm length and an 85 cm wingspan.
Black, glossed green, in the breeding season. The wing coverts are silvery. It has a long tail, a short head crest and a red or yellow face patch. The bill is yellow.

Sexes are similar, but non-breeding adults and juveniles are browner. A gallery search demonstrates some variability in plumage, for example extent of white in the head. Some southern populations retain the crest all year round.

Distribution

Africa south of the Sahara, and Madagascar.

Taxonomy

Immature
Photo by rudydbnBotanical Gardens, September 2004

This species has previously been considered to include Crowned Cormorant as a subspecies.

Formerly placed in genus Phalacrocorax.

Habitat

Freshwater wetlands or quiet coasts.

Behaviour

Breeding

2-4 eggs are laid in a nest in a tree or on the ground.

Diet

It can dive to considerable depths, but usually feeds in shallow water. It frequently brings prey to the surface. A wide variety of fish are taken.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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