Michelle W’s prompt for today:
The most distinctive feature of this southern African seabird is the bright orange-yellow patch of bare skin at the base of its bill, which sits in stark contrast against its glossy black plumage, tinged with a bluish-purple sheen . The black bill, with a blue-grey base , has completely sealed nostrils , which means the Cape cormorant must breathe through its mouth, but is able to dive unhindered into the water in pursuit of prey. Like other Pelecaniformes (a group of large seabirds), the Cape cormorant has webbing between all four toes, making it a strong swimmer and proficient predator of fish .
This sleek seabird forages typically less than ten kilometres from shore, in the cool waters of the north-flowing Benguela Current . It feeds in vast flocks of thousands of individuals on shoals of fish, often in association with terns, penguins and gannets.