GREAT CORMORANT; BIRDS OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

GREAT CORMORANT; BIRDS OF UGANDA – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS

Scientifically referred to as Phalacrocorax carbo, the great cormorant is one of the popular bird species normally explored while on birding safaris in Uganda.

The Great Cormorant is a wide spread member of the Cormorant family of sea birds and breeds majorly in Africa including Uganda where its viewed on Uganda birding safaris, Europe, Australia, Asia, North America at the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Greenland.

This amazing bird species is large and black in color featuring a weight range of 1.5kg – 5.3kg while the Males are larger than females. The great cormorants have a length of 70 – 102cm and a wing span of 121 – 160cm.  The blunt bill is medium sized while the base of the tail features a white patch as often viewed while on birding tours in Uganda.

Regarding the habitat, the Great Cormorants thrive along fresh water shores feeding majorly on fish caught by diving.  They nest on cliffs and rocky islands that are exonerated from predators. The nest on land is a heap of sticks and seaweed while on trees, it’s a solid stick structure made up of feathers and grasses.

The pairs of Great Cormorants normally use the same nest site to do the breeding year after year. The clutch of 3 – 5 eggs measuring between 63/41mm on average are normally laid. The eggs feature pale blue or green color with at times a white chalky layer covering them. The incubation period takes between 28 – 31 days.

In Uganda, Great Cormorants are majorly explored along Kazinga Channel in the Uganda Safari destination of Queen Elizabeth National Park.  And regarding conservation, they are listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).