Family Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)

Near Threatened

Crowned Cormorant (Microcarbo coronatus)


French: Cormoran couronné German: Kronenscharbe Spanish: Cormorán coronado

Graculus coronatus


, 1855,

Possession Island, south-west Namibia


Often considered a race of M. africanus, but various differences in plumage of both adults and, notably, juveniles; also, considerable geographical proximity without intergradation. Monotypic.


Coasts of SW Africa from C Namibia to SW South Africa (Cape Agulhas).

Descriptive notes

c. 54 cm, male 710–880 g, female 670–780 g. Breeding adult has head, neck and most of body shiny black, with a long, erectile, shaggy crest on forecrown,... read more


Little information. Usually silent away from breeding colonies. Cackles and hisses at colony have... read more


Markedly marine, occurring in cold waters of Benguela Current; does not stray > 10 km offshore... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly slow-moving benthic prey: fish including klipfish (Clinidae), pipefish (Syngnathus), sole or loose-skinned blennies (... read more


Laying year-round, with peak in Sept–Jan, slightly later in Namibia. Forms breeding groups of up to 150 pairs, often alongside other... read more


Sedentary, with a few movements to N or E of breeding range.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted to W coast of S Africa, breeding at 48 localities from Walvis Bay, Namibia, to Cape Agulhas, South... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Jutglar, F., Garcia, E.F.J., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Crowned Cormorant (Microcarbo coronatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 September 2019).