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Home » Information » Long-Tailed Cormorant of Uganda (“Phalacrocorax africanus”)

Long-Tailed Cormorant of Uganda (“Phalacrocorax africanus”)

Long-Tailed Cormorant

How Does the Long-Tailed Cormorant of Uganda Look Like?

The Long-Tailed Cormorant in Uganda is one of the birds of Uganda seen during a Uganda birding safari. It is also known as the Reed Cormorant that belongs to the cormorant family Phalacroracidae, phylum Chordata, order suliformes, classification Microcarbo and is ranked under species.

It is generally a small cormorant bird at a length between 50-55cm, its wingspan has 85cm and weighs about 680g, with a longer black tail and shorter yellowish bill, shorter head crest and a red but mostly yellow face.

The Long-Tailed Cormorant has largely dark plumage, with green gloss however during breeding season, its wing coverts become silvery.

The male and female are similar but the male is a little larger It can be easily seen in Africa, Madagascar, particularly Murchison falls National Park in Uganda.

How Does the Uganda Long-Tailed Cormorant Sing and Make Calls?

The Long-tailed cormorant is in most times hushed, except when it’s going to perch and at nest, then it roars with a hissing cackle. The roost can be heard giving a bleating chorus “a-a-a-a-a-a”.

Where Does the Uganda Long-tailed Cormorant Live?

The Reed Cormorant spends time at freshwater areas excluding the fast-flowing rivers. It can be spotted near water bodies with gentle sloping shores, lakes, slow moving rivers and frequently remote inland, but it also visits sheltered seawaters.

It often inhabits seasonal flooded areas, but in the dry season, the long-tailed cormorant lives on permanent waterbodies.

Long-tailed cormorants normally live near water bodies surrounded by foliage for nesting.

How Does the Uganda Long-tailed Cormorant Behave?

When it’s not a breeding season, the reed cormorant normally stays alone or in small groups. They come back to shared perches in larger, and their evening journeys can be seen along rivers and seas shores.

What Does the Uganda Reed Cormorant Feed On?

The long-tailed cormorant is a fresh-eater and feeds mainly on fish of up to the length of 20cm, other preys include frogs, molluscs, crabs, and insects (dragonfly larvae and insects of family Tenebrionidae).

Similar to any other Phalacrocoracidae, the reed cormorant hunts the preys in water and pushes itself using its large webbed feet.

It is able to drawn in water while chasing the prey for about 40-45 seconds, and feeds in shallow water, less than two meters in depth.

How Does the Uganda Long-tailed Cormorant Nest?

The male chooses the nest site and entices the females to join it by keeping the head in motion-back and forth while.

The nest-site is selected by the male. It displays to passing females by moving the head back and forth while panicking its wings.

A pair of a male and female responsibly build the nest together in just one week. Then it is put in the tree or large reedbeds near water and rarely on the ground.

Their nest is usually small and made out of sticks and dead reeds, line with leaves and grass.

How Does the Uganda Reed Cormorant Breed?

The Reed Cormorant is faithful bird with one partner and they form a strong pair bond for a longtime.

They frequently breed in groups with other bird species like Black-headed Heron, Grey Heron, Western Cattle Egret and African Darter. The groups have between 10-50 couples, or even more.

How Does the Uganda Long-tailed Cormorant Produce Young Ones?

Laying of eggs occurs all year around but mostly from the month of October to April.  Several bird reed cormorants gather with other bird species in large number of pair during breeding.

The females lay about 3-4 lengthened and pale eggs and incubation takes between 23-24days by both parents.

The chicks are hatched naked, but a black down grows quickly. They are taken care of by both parents for 28-35 days after hatching and about 4 weeks after fledging, the young birds become independent.

How is the Uganda Long-tailed Being Threatened?

Reed cormorants are maltreated in Southern Africa probably because it’s a local bird, they are also increasingly disturbed at feeding places in Kenya by fishermen.

Other predator bird species such as African fish eagle, Osprey and Tawny Eagle are their main killers. Their numbers are declining hastily.

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