Tuesday 6 March 2012: White Breasted Cormorant
The biggest species of cormorant in Southern Africa is the White-breasted Cormorant.
The Cormorants are a fairly large family of fisheaters residing along freshwater and saltwater shores around the world, yet all are so closely related that all are usually placed within a single genus Phalacrocorax. Despite spending much time in the water, they do not possess the waterproofing oil of other seabirds and so must spend much time drying their wings.
Cormorants are found almost everywhere that water meets shore. They use traditional sites for roosting, sunning, and nesting. These tend to be on islets, jetties, docks, or drowned trees with a 360 degree view to avoid predators.
In the United States, it is known as the Great Cormorant. The White-breasted Cormorant is the only form of Great Cormorant found in sub-Saharan Africa. As its name suggests, the 80-100 cm long White-breasted Cormorant has a white neck and breast when adult.
In other respects it is a large cormorant generally resembling the Great Cormorant.