Reed Cormorant

Scientific Name:
Microcarbo africanus
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Reed Cormorant

The Reed Cormorant (Microcarbo africanus), also known as the Long-tailed Cormorant, is a species of cormorant found in sub-Saharan Africa.


Reed Cormorants inhabit a variety of aquatic habitats, including freshwater and brackish wetlands such as lakes, rivers, estuaries, and coastal lagoons. They are commonly found in areas with dense vegetation along the water's edge, including reed beds, marshes, and mangrove swamps. These cormorants are also seen in human-modified habitats such as dams, reservoirs, and fish ponds.


Reed Cormorants are medium-sized birds, measuring approximately 55 to 65 centimeters (21.5 to 25.5 inches) in length, with a wingspan of about 90 to 100 centimeters (35.5 to 39.5 inches). They have a slender body, a long neck, and a relatively long, hooked bill adapted for catching fish. Their plumage is predominantly black or dark brown, with a metallic green sheen on the upperparts and a lighter gray or brownish color on the underparts. Best Viewing The best places to view Reed Cormorants are in wetland habitats with suitable foraging areas, such as lakes, rivers, and estuaries. Look for them perched on rocks, logs, or branches near the water's edge, where they sun themselves and scan for prey. These cormorants are often seen swimming or diving underwater in search of fish, which they catch with their powerful bills.