Sleeping on a tightrope: White-breasted Cormorants Phalacrocorax lucidus and African Darters Anhinga rufa roosting on transmission lines

  • Karis Daniel Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town
  • Itxaso Quintana Global Training Programme, University of the Basque Country, and BDI
  • Les G Underhill Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Biodiversity & Development Institute


Though recent research has explored the negative impact of human infrastructure on large waterbirds, few studies have examined behavioural byproducts such as roosting or nesting on transmission wires. Here, we document our observation of a joint roost of White-breasted Cormorant Phalacrocorax lucidus and African Darter Anhinga rufa on transmission lines in the Western Cape, South Africa. We highlight current gaps in understanding communal roosting, joint roosts between species, and roosting on infrastructure, and provide recommendations for future directions of study.



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