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

Seabirds - Author: Peter Harrison - Published: 1983 - Page: 305

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 128

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 18

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 42

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 29

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 28

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 34

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

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 52

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

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 23

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 64

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 64

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 5

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 19

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 24

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 27

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

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 56

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 50

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 12

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

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Published: 2005 - Page: 2

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 40

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

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

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 12

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

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 16

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 28

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 36

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

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 34

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 190

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