Birding in the Cape of Good Hope Section

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Birding in the Cape of Good Hope Section

Post by Toko » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:06 pm

Bird checklist for Table Mountain National Park - Cape of Good Hope section

The list below follows mostly the I O C World Bird List classification and taxonomic order proposed by the International Ornithological Congress.

Family Struthionidae Ostriches
Struthio camelus Common Ostrich 001 ... 58#p224058

Family Anatidae Ducks, Geese and Swans
Plectropterus gambensis Spur-winged Goose 116
Alopochen aegyptiacus Egyptian Goose 102
Tadorna cana South African Shelduck 103
Anas undulata Yellow-billed Duck 104
Anas sparsa African Black Duck 105
Anas capensis Cape Teal 106
Anas erythrorhyncha Red-billed Teal 108
Netta erythrophthalma Southern Pochard 113

Family Numididae Guineafowl
Numida meleagris Helmeted Guineafowl 203 ... 28#p224228

Family Phasianidae Pheasants and allies
Scleroptila africanus Grey-winged Francolin 190
Pternistis capensis Cape Spurfowl 195
Coturnix coturnix Common Quail 200

Family Spheniscidae Penguins
Eudyptes chrysocome Southern Rockhopper Penguin 004
Eudyptes chrysolophus Macaroni Penguin 005
Spheniscus demersus African Penguin, Jackass Penguin 003

Family Diomedeidae Albatrosses
Diomedea exulans Wandering Albatross 010
Phoebetria fusca Sooty Albatross (Dark-mantled Sooty Albatross) 015
Phoebetria palpebrata Light-mantled Albatross (Light-mantled Sooty Albatross) 016
Thalassarche carteri Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross 014a
Thalassarche cauta Shy Albatross 011
Thalassarche chlororhynchos Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross (Yellow-nosed Albatross) 014
Thalassarche melanophris Black-browed Albatross 012

Family Procellariidae Petrels, Shearwaters
Fulmarine Petrels
Macronectes giganteus Southern Giant Petrel 017
Macronectes halli Northern Giant Petrel 018
Fulmarus glacialoides Southern Fulmar 019
Daption capense Pintado Petrel 021
Prions: Genera Pachyptila and Halobaena
Halobaena caerulea Blue Petrel 028
Pachyptila belcheri Slender-billed Prion 030
Pachyptila vittata Broad-billed Prion 029
Gadfly Petrels
Pterodroma macroptera Great-winged Petrel 023
Pterodroma mollis Soft-plumaged Petrel 024
Shearwaters: Genera Calonectris, Puffinus, Pseudobulweria, Procellaria, Bulweria
Procellaria aequinoctialis White-chinned Petrel 032
Calonectris diomedea Cory's Shearwater 034
Puffinus assimilis Little Shearwater 039
Puffinus carneipes Flesh-footed Shearwater 036
Puffinus gravis Great Shearwater 035
Puffinus griseus Sooty Shearwater 037
Puffinus puffinus Manx Shearwater 038

Family Hydrobatidae Storm Petrels
Oceanites oceanicus Wilson's Storm Petrel 044

Family Podicipedidae Grebes
Tachybaptus ruficollis Little Grebe 008

Family Phoenicopteridae Flamingos
Phoenicopterus roseus Greater Flamingo 096

Family Phaethontidae Tropicbirds
Phaethon rubricauda Red-tailed Tropicbird 047

Family Ciconiidae Storks
Ciconia ciconia White Stork 083
Ciconia nigra Black Stork 084

Family Threskiornithidae Ibises, Spoonbills
Threskiornis aethiopicus Sacred Ibis 091
Bostrychia hagedash Hadeda Ibis 094

Family Ardeidae Herons, Bitterns
Nycticorax nycticorax Black-crowned Night Heron 076
Bubulcus ibis Western Cattle Egret, Cattle Egret 071
Ardea cinerea Grey Heron 062
Ardea melanocephala Black-headed Heron 063
Egretta intermedia Intermediate Egret, Yellow-billed Egret 068
Egretta garzetta Little Egret 067

Family Scopidae Hamerkop
Scopus umbretta Hamerkop 081

Family Sulidae Gannets, Boobies
Morus capensis Cape Gannet 053

Family Phalacrocoracidae Cormorants, Shags
Microcarbo africanus Reed Cormorant 058
Microcarbo coronatus Crowned Cormorant 059
Phalacrocorax neglectus Bank Cormorant 057
Phalacrocorax lucidus White-breasted Cormorant 055
Phalacrocorax capensis Cape Cormorant 056 ... 38#p224238

Family Anhingidae Anhingas, Darters
Anhinga rufa African Darter 060

Family Sagittariidae Secretarybird
Sagittarius serpentarius Secretarybird 118

Family Pandionidae Osprey
Pandion haliaetus Osprey 170

Family Accipitridae Kites, Hawks and Eagles
Elanus caeruleus Black-shouldered Kite 127
Polyboroides typus African Harrier-Hawk 169
Gyps coprotheres Cape Vulture 122
Polemaetus bellicosus Martial Eagle 140
Hieraaetus pennatus Booted Eagle 136
Aquila verreauxii Verreaux's Eagle 131
Accipiter tachiro African Goshawk 160
Accipiter rufiventris Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk (Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk) 155
Circus ranivorus African Marsh Harrier 165
Circus maurus Black Harrier 168
Milvus aegyptius Yellow-billed Kite 126.1
Haliaeetus vocifer African Fish Eagle 148
Buteo buteo vulpinus Steppe Buzzard (Common Buzzard) 149
Buteo trizonatus Forest Buzzard 150
Buteo rufofuscus Jackal Buzzard 152

Family Falconidae Falcons
Falco naumanni Lesser Kestrel 183
Falco rupicolus Rock Kestrel 181
Falco rupicoloides Greater Kestrel 182
Falco subbuteo Eurasian Hobby 173
Falco biarmicus Lanner Falcon 172
Falco peregrinus Peregrine Falcon 171

Family Sarothruridae Flufftails
Sarothrura affinis Striped Flufftail 221

Family Rallidae Rails, Crakes and Coots
Porphyrula martinica American Purple Gallinule 225
Gallinula chloropus Common Moorhen 226
Fulica cristata Red-knobbed Coot 228

Family Gruidae Cranes
Anthropoides paradisea Blue Crane 208

Family Turnicidae Buttonquail
Turnix hottentottus Hottentot Buttonquail 206.1

Family Burhinidae Stone-curlews, Thick-knees
Burhinus vermiculatus Water Thick-knee 298
Burhinus capensis Spotted Thick-knee 297

Family Chionidae Sheathbills
Chionis albus Snowy Sheathbill

Family Haematopodidae Oystercatchers
Haematopus moquini African Oystercatcher 244

Family Recurvirostridae Stilts, Avocets
Himantopus himantopus Black-winged Stilt 295
Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet 294

Family Charadriidae Plovers
Vanellus armatus Blacksmith Lapwing 258
Vanellus coronatus Crowned Lapwing 255
Pluvialis dominica American Golden Plover
Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover 254
Charadrius hiaticula Common Ringed Plover 245
Charadrius pecuarius Kittlitz's Plover 248
Charadrius tricollaris Three-banded Plover 249
Charadrius marginatus White-fronted Plover 246
Charadrius pallidus Chestnut-banded Plover 247

Family Rostratulidae Painted-snipes
Rostratula benghalensis Greater Painted-snipe 242

Family Scolopacidae Sandpipers, Snipes
Gallinago nigripennis African Snipe 286
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 288
Numenius phaeopus Whimbrel 290
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 289
Tringa stagnatilis Marsh Sandpiper 269
Tringa nebularia Common Greenshank 270
Tringa glareola Wood Sandpiper 266
Actitis hypoleucos Common Sandpiper 264
Arenaria interpres Ruddy Turnstone 262
Calidris canutus Red Knot 271
Calidris alba Sanderling 281
Calidris minuta Little Stint 274
Calidris fuscicollis White-rumped Sandpiper 277
Calidris bairdii Baird's Sandpiper 278
Calidris melanotos Pectoral Sandpiper 279
Calidris ferruginea Curlew Sandpiper 272
Philomachus pugnax Ruff 284
Phalaropus fulicaria Red Phalarope 291

Family Glareolidae Coursers, Pratincoles
Cursorius temminckii Temminck's Courser 300

Family Laridae Gulls, Terns and Skimmers
Xema sabini Sabine's Gull 318
Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus Grey-headed Gull 315
Chroicocephalus hartlaubii Hartlaub's Gull 316
Larus dominicanus Kelp Gull 312
Hydroprogne caspia Caspian Tern 322
Thalasseus bergii Greater Crested Tern, Swift Tern 324
Thalasseus bengalensis Lesser Crested Tern 325
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 326
Sternula balaenarum Damara Tern 334
Sterna hirundo Common Tern 327
Sterna paradisaea Arctic Tern 328
Sterna vittata Antarctic Tern 329

Family Stercorariidae Skuas
Stercorarius antarcticus Brown Skua, Subantarctic Skua 310
Stercorarius pomarinus Pomarine Jaeger 309
Stercorarius parasiticus Parasitic Jaeger 307
Stercorarius longicaudus Long-tailed Jaeger 308

Family Columbidae Pigeons, Doves
Columba livia Rock Dove 348
Columba guinea Speckled Pigeon 349
Columba arquatrix African Olive Pigeon 350
Streptopelia semitorquata Red-eyed Dove 352
Streptopelia capicola Cape Turtle Dove, Ring-necked Dove 354
Streptopelia senegalensis Laughing Dove 355
Oena capensis Namaqua Dove 356

Family Cuculidae Cuckoos
Centropus burchellii Burchell's Coucal 391
Chrysococcyx klaas Klaas's Cuckoo 385
Cuculus solitarius Red-chested Cuckoo 377

Family Tytonidae Barn Owls
Tyto alba Western Barn Owl 392

Family Strigidae Owls
Bubo africanus Spotted Eagle-Owl 401
Strix woodfordii African Wood Owl 394
Asio capensis Marsh Owl 395

Family Caprimulgidae Nightjars
Caprimulgus pectoralis Fiery-necked Nightjar 405

Family Apodidae Swifts
Tachymarptis melba Alpine Swift 418
Apus barbatus African Black Swift 412
Apus affinis Little Swift 417
Apus caffer White-rumped Swift 415

Family Coliidae Mousebirds
Colius striatus Speckled Mousebird 424
Colius colius White-backed Mousebird 425
Urocolius indicus Red-faced Mousebird 426

Family Coraciidae Rollers
Coracias garrulus European Roller 446

Family Alcedinidae Kingfishers
Halcyon leucocephala Grey-headed Kingfisher 436
Corythornis cristatus Malachite Kingfisher 431
Megaceryle maxima Giant Kingfisher 429
Ceryle rudis Pied Kingfisher 428

Family Meropidae Bee-eaters
Merops apiaster European Bee-eater 438

Family Upupidae Hoopoes
Upupa africana African Hoopoe 451

Family Phoeniculidae Wood Hoopoes
Rhinopomastus cyanomelas Common Scimitarbill 454

Family Lybiidae African Barbets
Tricholaema leucomelas Acacia Pied Barbet 465

Family Indicatoridae Honeyguides
Indicator minor Lesser Honeyguide 476

Family Picidae Woodpeckers
Geocolaptes olivaceus Ground Woodpecker 480

Family Psittacidae Parrots

Family Platysteiridae Wattle-eyes, Batises
Batis capensis Cape Batis 700

Family Malaconotidae Bushshrikes
Telophorus zeylonus Bokmakierie 746
Laniarius ferrugineus Southern Boubou 736

Family Laniidae Shrikes
Lanius collurio Red-backed Shrike 733
Lanius minor Lesser Grey Shrike 731
Lanius collaris Southern Fiscal (Common Fiscal) 732

Family Dicruridae Drongos
Dicrurus adsimilis Fork-tailed Drongo 541

Family Monarchidae Monarch Flycatchers
Terpsiphone viridis African Paradise Flycatcher 710

Family Corvidae Crows
Corvus capensis Cape Crow 547
Corvus albus Pied Crow 548
Corvus albicollis White-necked Raven 550

Family Alaudidae Larks
Mirafra apiata Cape Clapper Lark 495
Eremopterix verticalis Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark 516

Family Pycnonotidae Bulbuls
Pycnonotus capensis Cape Bulbul 566
Andropadus importunus Sombre Greenbul 572

Family Hirundinidae Swallows, Martins
Psalidoprocne pristoptera Black Saw-wing 536
Hirundo rustica Barn Swallow 518
Hirundo albigularis White-throated Swallow 520
Ptyonoprogne fuligula Rock Martin 529
Delichon urbicum Common House Martin 530
Cecropis cucullata Greater Striped Swallow 526

Family Macrosphenidae Crombecs, African Warblers
Sphenoeacus afer Cape Grassbird 661
Sylvietta rufescens Long-billed Crombec 651

Family Acrocephalidae Marsh/Reed Warblers and Tree Warblers
Acrocephalus gracilirostris Lesser Swamp Warbler 635
Acrocephalus palustris Marsh Warbler 633
Hippolais icterina Icterine Warbler 625

Family Locustellidae Grassbirds and Allies
Bradypterus baboecala Little Rush Warbler 638

Family Cisticolidae Cisticolas and Allies
Cisticola subruficapilla Grey-backed Cisticola 669
Cisticola tinniens Levaillant's Cisticola 677
Cisticola fulvicapilla Neddicky 681
Cisticola juncidis Zitting Cisticola 664
Cisticola textrix Cloud Cisticola 666
Prinia maculosa Karoo Prinia 686
Apalis thoracica Bar-throated Apalis 645

Family Zosteropidae White-eyes
Zosterops capensis Cape White-eye 798

Family Promeropidae Sugarbirds
Promerops cafer Cape Sugarbird 773 ... 39#p224039

Family Sturnidae Starlings
Sturnus vulgaris Common Starling 757
Creatophora cinerea Wattled Starling 760
Onychognathus morio Red-winged Starling 769

Family Turdidae Thrushes
Turdus olivaceus Olive Thrush 577

Family Muscicapidae Chats, Old World Flycatchers
Cercotrichas coryphoeus Karoo Scrub Robin 614
Melaenornis silens Fiscal Flycatcher 698
Muscicapa adusta African Dusky Flycatcher 690
Muscicapa striata Spotted Flycatcher 689
Cossypha caffra Cape Robin-Chat 601
Monticola rupestris Cape Rock Thrush 581
Monticola explorator Sentinel Rock Thrush 582
Saxicola torquatus African Stonechat 596
Myrmecocichla monticola Mountain Wheatear 586
Oenanthe familiaris Familiar Chat 589

Family Nectariniidae Sunbirds
Anthobaphes violacea Orange-breasted Sunbird 777
Chalcomitra amethystina Amethyst Sunbird 792
Nectarinia famosa Malachite Sunbird 775
Cinnyris chalybeus Southern Double-collared Sunbird 783

Family Passeridae Old World Sparrows
Passer domesticus House Sparrow 801
Passer melanurus Cape Sparrow 803

Family Ploceidae Weavers, Widowbirds
Ploceus capensis Cape Weaver 813
Ploceus velatus Southern Masked Weaver 814
Euplectes orix Southern Red Bishop 824
Euplectes capensis Yellow Bishop 827

Family Estrildidae Waxbills and Allies
Estrilda astrild Common Waxbill 846

Family Viduidae Indigobirds, Whydahs
Vidua macroura Pin-tailed Whydah 860

Family Motacillidae Wagtails, Pipits
Motacilla flava Western Yellow Wagtail 714
Motacilla capensis Cape Wagtail 713
Motacilla cinerea Grey Wagtail 715
Macronyx capensis Cape Longclaw 727
Anthus cinnamomeus African Pipit 716
Anthus similis Long-billed Pipit 717
Anthus leucophrys Plain-backed Pipit 718

Family Fringillidae Finches
Fringilla coelebs Common Chaffinch 868
Crithagra totta Cape Siskin 874
Crithagra flaviventris Yellow Canary 878
Crithagra sulphurata Brimstone Canary 877
Crithagra albogularis White-throated Canary 879
Serinus canicollis Cape Canary 872

Family Emberizidae Buntings
Emberiza capensis Cape Bunting 885

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Post by Toko » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:02 pm

Comprehensive PAPER: Birds of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve

Fraser M. 2014. Birds of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, South Western Cape, South Africa. Ornithological Observations 5: 139-247.

Summary. This report describes the birds of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve (now the southern section of the Table Mountain National Park), South Africa. A total of 279 species has been recorded, at least 80 of which have bred. An impressive range of national and regional rarities has occurred, including first and second records for Africa and South Africa, and as many as 20 species new to the south-western Cape.

The Reserve as a whole supports relatively low numbers and species-richness of bushbirds because of the generally sparse, exposed, and nutrient-deficient nature of the dominant fynbos vegetation. Small areas of coastal thicket support densities of birds up to 50 times greater than some inland fynbos habitats. Large numbers of nectar-feeding birds gather seasonally at flowering ornithophilous plants, especially proteaceous and ericaceous shrubs.

Freshwater birds are scarce in the few blackwater vleis, streams and seeps. Palaearctic migrant waders formerly were a feature of the coast in summer and on passage but are now rare. Sanctuary areas on beaches closed to the public are of increasing importance to breeding White-fronted Plover and African Black Oystercatcher and to roosting shorebirds and terns. The tip of the Reserve provides some of the best land-based seawatching in the world, with a high diversity and abundance of pelagic seabirds coming close to shore under suitable conditions.

The majority of observations detailed here were made in 1984-96; more recent records have been added where possible. As well [as] updating previous lists, this account provides an historical snapshot and a baseline that will allow new assessments of the Reserve's birds to be made in a local and regional context. It also enables visiting birders to evaluate their sightings, as many species that are common within a few kilometres of the Reserve have not yet been recorded in it. The apparent absence of such species is a consequence of local conditions and/or birders not appreciating their local significance.

This paper provides a comprehensive introduction to the study area, provides an annotated list of species and ends with a Checklist (Appendix 1) and list of a few doubtful species.

We will quote the relevant information for our species info below from this paper

Download here

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Post by Lisbeth » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:38 pm

001. Ostrich Struthio camelus
Order: Struthioniformes Family: Struthionidae Ostriches

The ostrich or common ostrich (Struthio camelus) is either one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa, the only living member of the genus Struthio, which is in the ratite family. Some analyses indicate that the Somali ostrich may be better considered a full species separate from the Common Ostrich, but most taxonomists consider it to be a subspecies.

The ostrich shares the order Struthioniformes with the kiwis, emus, rheas and cassowaries. However, phylogenetic studies have shown that it is the basal extant member of Palaeognathae and is thus equally closely related to flighted tinamous. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and can run at up to about 70 km/h (20 m/s; 40 mph),[5] the fastest land speed of any bird. The ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest eggs of any living bird (extinct elephant birds of Madagascar and the giant moa of New Zealand laid larger eggs).

The ostrich's diet consists mainly of plant matter, though it also eats invertebrates. It lives in nomadic groups of 5 to 50 birds. When threatened, the ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or run away. If cornered, it can attack with a kick of its powerful legs. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females.

The ostrich is farmed around the world, particularly for its feathers, which are decorative and are also used as feather dusters. Its skin is used for leather products and its meat is marketed commercially


Uncommon breeding resident; probably introduced alien. :shock:
Ostrich occurred naturally on the northern Cape Peninsula in the seventeenth century, but there are no contemporary records from the area now the Reserve unlikely that any of the birds here now are directly descended from local wild stock.
Three males and one female were introduced in 1947, and two males and three females in 1966. By 1976 the population had grown to an estimated 99 birds; in 1995 there were 24-30 and, in 1996, 18 adults and 26 subadults. No introductions now take place and the population is kept in check by translocating chicks and, occasionally, culling adults.
Most often found in disturbed grassy vegetation around habitations, road verges, and in the relatively nutritious coastal strip. Ostrich also frequent newly-burnt fynbos, and at Olifantsbos Bay feed on seaweed freshly cast up on the beach. Nests with eggs (up to 33, the product of more than one female) have been found between June and November. Incubation has been recorded as 53 days, although one stoical female incubated a clutch of 12 addled ein 1986 before deserting.
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Cape Sugarbird

Post by Toko » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:15 pm

773. Cape Sugarbird Promerops cafer (Kaapse Suikervoël)
Order: Passeriformes. Family: Promeropidae

Small with very long ribbonlike bill and long tail; upperparts, face and breast brown, streaked darker above, more rufous on breast; malar stripe brown, bordered above by white stripe and below by white throat; belly white, flanks streaked dusky; undertail bright yellow; tail long (♀) or very long (♂), strongly graduated, brown, pliable; tail of moulting male may be as short as tail of female in October and November. Iris dark brown; bill, legs and feet black
Immature: Lacks dark flank streaks; undertail pale brown; colour of breast and belly not sharply defined; bill pinkish at base; gape bright yellow for first year; tail relatively short.

Sugarbird on Green Tree Pincushion Leucospermum conocarpodendron viridum

Common breeding resident and visitor.
A characteristic species of middle-aged and old shrubby fynbos, its frequency and abundance dictated by the flowering of its food plants: Mimetes fimbriifolius, M. hirtus and Leucospermum conodendron in winter and spring, and Protea lepidocarpodendron particularly, P. repens in winter. Scores of sugarbirds may gather at stands of these flowers, notably L. conocarpodendron on the slopes of Vasco da Gama Peak and P. repens on Teeberg. Summer flowering Erica gilva and, to a lesser extent, Leonotis leonurus are also visited by sugarbirds. When there are no food plants in bloom the birds are scarce or absent.

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Re: Birding in the Cape of Good Hope Section

Post by Toko » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:37 am

203. Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris (Gewone Tarentaal)
Order: Galliformes. Family: Numididae

Length 53-58 cm; slate grey, finely spotted white; head small, naked, blue-and-red; conspicuous horny casque on top of head; shape of casque variable with age and locality. Iris brown; bill and casque yellowish horn; face and upper neck blue, washed green around eyes; wattles blue, tipped red; cere and crown red; legs and feet blackish.
Immature: Browner with downy neck; casque small or absent.


Uncommon breeding resident.
Birds from the eastern Cape were introduced to the south-western Cape at the end of the nineteenth century and quickly became established in agricultural areas and coastal scrub. Four were released at the Reserve in 1940 and 43 in 1950, but the species would doubtless have made its own way here without this helping hand and, indeed, are likely to have been here already.
Helmeted Guineafowl's distribution is regulated in part by the proximity and availability of tall trees in which to roost such as the gums at Klaasjagersberg, the oaks (now felled) at Olifantsbos and the Homestead fig and cypress. Rarely seen in natural vegetation apart from coastal scrub, and mainly confined to human habitation grassy recreational areas, and to alien thickets as far south as the slopes of Vasco da Gama Peak. Road verges are used as convenient corridors to reach outlying areas, with parties of up to 20 by the Main Road south of the Homestead. Regularly forage on the shore at Olifantsbos Bay, scraping in and turning over rotting kelp to expose sandhoppers and kelp-fly larvae. Breeding recorded in October-December.

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Re: Birding in the Cape of Good Hope Section

Post by Lisbeth » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:48 pm

056. Cape Cormorant Phalacrocorax capensis
Order: Suliformes. Family: Phalacrocoracidae.

The Cape cormorant is an almost entirely glossy black bird, though in breeding condition it has a purplish tinge and a few white plumes on head, neck, and cloacal areas. Its gular skin is a deep orangey yellow; unusually for a cormorant, its lores are feathered. The bird's wing is about 240–280 mm in extent, and it weighs 800-1,600 grams, with little sexual dimorphism.


The Cape cormorant or Cape shag (Phalacrocorax capensis) is a bird endemic to the southwestern coasts of Africa.

It breeds from Namibia south to southern Cape Province. In the nonbreeding season, it may be found as far north as the mouth of the Congo, and also extends up the east coast of South Africa as far as Mozambique. In the 1970s, the breeding population was estimated as over 1 million in Namibia alone. However, the IUCN now classifies it as "Endangered" due to a very rapid decline in the population over the last three generations.

Cape shags commonly forage in flocks, taking schooling fish from mid-water, such as pilchards, anchovies, and sandeels. Its prey are typically much smaller than those of the sympatric bank cormorant. Their major predators are black-backed jackals, which take the occasional adult while it is roosting, and nest-site predators such as great cormorants, eastern great white pelicans, and kelp gulls.

Like a number of other related cormorant species, the Cape cormorant is placed by some authorities (e.g. Johnsgaard) in the genus Leucocarbo.
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