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Hot summer extends breeding time on Intaka Island

Hot summer extends breeding time on Intaka Island

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Date 06 April 2017
Author Tezi
Contact Email info@intaka.co.za
Contact Telephone +27 21 552 6889

Margaret Mac Iver, one of the founding members of the Intaka Island/ Blouvlei Environmental  Committee who has undertaken a monthly breeding  survey of birds on Intaka Island for more than 20 years, says for the first time Whitebreasted Cormorants have been spotted breeding on the island during March.

“While they have been known to breed in March in other areas such as Paarl sewage, in all the years we have been monitoring them on Intaka they have never done so.”

Whitebreasted Cormorants are normally the first to start breeding in Intaka in June each year with breeding numbers peaking in October but by January they are usually finished and have left their nests.

Mac Iver says a number of Whitebreasted Cormorants were now back and building on to the same nests they had used earlier in the season.

“There are currently five new breeding pairs in the trees overhaning the water and most surprising of all  are the numbers that are suddenly building, and already sitting on nests on the two platforms on the island.  I counted seven nests on one and six on the other.”

Mac Iver said it was possible the current warm weather conditions had made the Whitebreasted Cormorants “get in another brood while the going is good!”

“It will be interesting to see whether the forthcoming winter will affect this - and if we get winter storms!”

Alan Liebenberg, Environmental Manager of the Century City Property Owners’ Association, said that Intaka had become a major breeding ground for Whitebreasted Cormorants attracting more than 100 breeding pairs per year.

“However, a few years back they were chased away by water mongooses that were raiding their nests but now we have overcome that problem they are returning in increasing numbers.”