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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Reed Cormorant

Afrikaans name: Rietduiker

Reed Cormorant sunning itself at Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve

Photo © Steven Herbert

Microcarbo africanus

The Reed Cormorant is a common sight around freshwater dams around South Africa. It may also be found along the coast in some areas. Besides being found in South Africa it occurs over much of sub-Saharan Africa as well as Madagascar.

This cormorant feeds mainly on fish which it catches by diving under the water and chasing them. It can stay submerged for a substantial time (around 40 seconds). Normally it will bring its prey to the surface before swallowing it head first. It will also eat frogs and other aquatic life.

The Reed Cormorant can often be seen sitting on a stump or other low perch drying its plumage.

They make a nest in a tree or on the ground, amongst cover, and up to 4 eggs are laid.


References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 190

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 2

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 16

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 7

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 24

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 177

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 41

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 41

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 56

List of South African Birds

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