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Cape Cormorant - BirdForum Opus

Phalacrocorax capensis
Adult (left) and Juvenile
Photo by CollinBax
Sea Point, Western Cape, South Africa, January 2007


Length 61-64 cm, mass 1.0-1.6 kg, males larger than females
Breeding Adult: Glossy blue-black plumage, with white filoplumes on the head, neck and vent. Bill, legs and feet black. The eyes are turquoise, with a greenish eye-ring. The bare skin below the eye and the base of the lower bill is orange, as is the gular pouch.
Non-breeding Adult: Generally duller than the breeding adults, without white filoplumes, and with throat and breast mottled brown.


Photo by Bartail
Hermanus Bay, South Africa, August 2009

Coast of Namibia and western and southern coast of South Africa.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Marine coast.


Classified as Near-threatened in the IUCN Red List.


Roosts in large flocks, some numbering thousands. Forages up to 80 km offshore, usually in large flocks, often with Cape Gannets, gulls and terns.


Feeds mainly on pelagic schooling fish.


Monogamous, often nesting in large colonies. The nest is a loose pile built with various materials including sticks, feathers, dry seaweed, bones and human debris. One to five eggs are laid, usually September to February. Predators of nestlings include Cape Fur Seal, Great White Pelican, Kelp Gull, African Sacred Ibis, and White-breasted Cormorant.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. BirdLife International
  3. Avibase

Recommended Citation

External Links

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