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Long-tailed Cormorant - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Phalacrocorax africanus)
Photo © by Scottishdude
The Gambia, March, 2010

Alternative name: Reed Cormorant

Microcarbo africanus

Phalacrocorax africanus


Photo © by rudydbnBotanical Gardens, September 2004

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.


Photo © by whiteheadedvulture
Densu Delta Protected Area, Accra, Ghana
16 November 2021


This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of 2 subspecies.

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

Formerly placed in genus Phalacrocorax.


  • M. a. africanus:

Africa south of the Sahara

  • M. a. pictilis:



Freshwater wetlands or quiet coasts.



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


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.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.