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Cormorant, Crowned

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
pnm
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby pnm » Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:03 am

Image

Good morning all - some help please.

I took this on 24 June at midday near Hermanus. Is it a Crowned Cormorant? (59) (I see no crown!). Roberts says it is "uncommon to rare" and I am always careful about claiming a tick when it could be rare. Maybe I just got lucky? I couldn't get much closer. I base my guess at identification on the reddish eye and reddish facial skin and also the smallish size compared to the other cormorants that were around.

I have just returned from a trip to Kleinmond and have two more birds I that will need help with.
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Micetta
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Micetta » Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:09 am

It certainly looks like one :thumbs_up: But somebody more clever will turn up and confirm or...... :wink:

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby NickyG » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:22 pm

Its looks suspiciously like that. Im first to admit my eyes play tricks when you have a spot of something you have nbever before seen, and hope its sumink like a creeper or a barbet or diederick's cuckoo...but I think teh culprit is as above...thanx guys.

Also interesting to note its introduced.

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Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Batmad » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:41 pm

Crowned Cormerant :D The habitat along with where you found it tells me :D aswell as the LITTLE crown towards his beak :D
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Johan van Rensburg
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Cormorant, Crowned

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:33 pm

The Cormorant, Crowned (Phalacrocorax coronatus) 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!

Image

Image

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!
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arks
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Re: Cormorant, Crowned

Unread postby arks » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:05 am

Very interesting info JvR!

Johan van Rensburg wrote: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!

I'm going to have to have another look at what I'd thought were reed cormorants seen along the west coast ..... are you saying that if it looks like a reed cormorant, but it's in a salt water habitat, then it must be a crowned one? :hmz:
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Cormorant, Crowned

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:12 pm

arks wrote:..... are you saying that if it looks like a reed cormorant, but it's in a salt water habitat, then it must be a crowned one? :hmz:


That is what I understood about the two species... reed cormorant is freshwater only, the other (nearly) saltwater only... I.e. if it is in a saltwater habitat it is NOT a reed cormorant...

Roberts VII lists some differences but these are all, to my mind "in the eye of the beholder"... Maybe one day when I'm bigger...
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Re: Cormorant, Crowned

Unread postby arks » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:48 am

Thanks, Johan. Always new birding surprises, hey?!?
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