Crowned Cormorant

Microcarbo (Phalacrocorax) coronatus

The Crowned Cormorant is a coastal seabird endemic to the Atlantic coasts of Namibia and South Africa, with vagrants occasionally venturing as far east as Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). They frequent rocky shores and offshore islands, where they forage for slow-moving fish, crustaceans and molluscs in the rock pools and among the breakers and rarely in estuaries. They can stay submerged for up to a minute and usually fly and forage alone.

Crowned Cormorants breed in small colonies of less than 30 monogamous pairs in locations inaccessible to terrestrial predators, like offshore islands, sea cliffs and shipwrecks, and often in close proximity to the nests of other kinds of birds. Females construct the platform nests using sticks, seaweed, feathers, bones, guano and, sadly, garbage found drifting in the ocean. They may breed at any time of year, though mainly in spring and summer. Clutches of 2-3 (sometimes up to 5) eggs are incubated by both parents for approximately 3 weeks. The chicks can fly by the age of about 7 weeks and remain with their parents for about 3 weeks thereafter before dispersing, often a considerable distance of several hundred kilometres away. Fully grown they measure about 54cm in length and weigh around 750g.

The IUCN updated the conservation status of the Crowned Cormorant from near-threatened to least concern in 2020, siting the population being apparently stable despite being rather small at less than 4,500 mature individuals. Threats to their existence include disturbance by humans at their breeding sites, pollution, and predation by an increasing Cape Fur Seal population.


7 thoughts on “Crowned Cormorant

    1. DeWetsWild Post author

      Ons het inderwaarheid 5 duikers (cormorants) en 1 wat amper so lyk (die slanghalsvoel) in Suid-Afrika, Corna. Met hierdie artikel het ons nou almal van hulle hier op DeWetsWild bespreek.

      Liked by 1 person


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