The Cormorant, Crowned
) is endemic to the waters of the cold Benguela current of south-west Namibia and south-west South Africa and is the region’s smallest marine cormorant. It has a restricted range along the coastline, usually occurring within one kilometre of the coast. They are listed as Near Threatened
with an estimated 3000 breeding pairs.
Crowned Cormorants forage in shallow water, usually less than five metres deep, close to rocky shores and among kelp beds. They feed on bottom living and slow–moving fish as well as crustaceans and molluscs.
Despite spending much time in the water, cormorants do not possess the waterproofing oil of other seabirds and so must spend much time drying their wings.
Cormorants are often easy to see, but they can be quite difficult to approach, usually being very wary of humans. This bird sat amongst the dolosse of the breakwater at Bird Island, Lambert's Bay, making sneaking up on it a bit easier...
I found it difficult to see significant differences between this marine version of the Reed Cormorant and the freshwater bird that it resembles so closely that formerly it was considered to be the same species!
If you look closely the crowned cormorant appears to be generally darker than the reed cormorant, but thank goodness for the habitat preferences of these birds that are never shared and therefore precludes a very difficult ID call, especially at sub-adult age!