Puneet Varma (Editor)

Reed cormorant

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Kingdom  Animalia
Order  Suliformes
Genus  Microcarbo
Higher classification  Microcarbo
Phylum  Chordata
Family  Phalacrocoracidae
Scientific name  Microcarbo africanus
Rank  Species
Reed cormorant Reed Cormorant or Longtailed Cormorant
Similar  African darter, Black‑headed heron, White‑breasted cormorant, Red‑eyed dove, Spur‑winged goose

Reed cormorant eats big fish

The reed cormorant (Microcarbo africanus), also known as the long-tailed cormorant, is a bird in the cormorant family Phalacrocoracidae. It breeds in much of Africa south of the Sahara, and Madagascar. It is resident but undertakes some seasonal movements.


Reed cormorant Reed Cormorant BurrardLucas Photography

Reed cormorant with frog prey


Reed cormorant Reed Cormorant in Spain

This is a small cormorant at 50–55 cm length and an 85 cm wingspan. It is mainly black, glossed green, in the breeding season. The wing coverts are silvery. It has a longish 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, with a white belly. Some southern races retain the crest all year round.


Reed cormorant Reed Cormorant lovely red eye BirdLife Port Natal

The reed cormorant can dive to considerable depths, but usually feeds in shallow water. It frequently brings prey to the surface. It takes a wide variety of fish. It prefers small slow-moving fish, and those with long and tapering shapes, such as mormyrids, catfishes, and cichlids. It will less frequently eat soles (which can be important in its diet locally), frogs, aquatic invertebrates, and small birds.

Reed cormorant Reed Cormorant Bird amp Wildlife Photography by Richard and Eileen Flack

Two to four eggs are laid in a nest in a tree or on the ground, normally hidden from view by long grass.


Reed cormorant Microcarbo africanus

This is a common and widespread species, and is not considered to be threatened. It breeds on freshwater wetlands or quiet coasts.


Reed cormorant Wikipedia

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