Lookout 6 – Chavonne Battery

Environmental message:

I build my nest with things I find, but plastic items like straws are not good for me or my chicks. Please use your lips and not straws to drink your cooldrinks.

Cape Cormorant

Phalacrocorax capensis
  • I live only in southern Africa and nowhere else in the world. 
  • I dive into the water to hunt for my food, which is mostly small fish. 
  • You might see me sitting in the sun with my wings stretched out – this is because my feathers are not waterproof so I need to dry off after diving and swimming. 
  • Look across the water to the wall next to Den Anker Restaurant. Here you will see many of my nests. Can you see what I have used to build my nest? 
  • I breed between September and February and build my nest from sticks, seaweed, bits of plastic, rope, box bands, straws, and anything else I can find. 
  • The white on my nest is called guano – it forms from my droppings and is a rich fertiliser.

The Marine Wildlife Management team look after all aspects of wildlife management in the V&A neighbourhood including the Marina, which has Blue Flag status. They employ permanent wildlife monitors that patrol the entire area on foot daily and record the presence and movement of marine wildlife, especially Cape fur seals. The team also assist the Two Oceans Aquarium with an on-going seal disentanglement programme in collaboration with DFFE. Checking rooftops of all the buildings within the V&A Waterfront to ensure no seabirds or chicks are at risk. Sunfish are often assisted out of the harbour, and sometimes even the dry dock. Our team is on stand-by for any animal related emergencies or callouts.

Releasing cormorants on Robben Island with SANCCOB:

Swift Tern

Thalasseus bergii
  • I eat mostly fish which I catch by diving into the water down to 1m.  
  • In the Waterfront I like to nest on building rooftops like the Nedbank building behind you, because they are flat and covered in stone chip.
  • I lay two eggs, but only raise one chick each time.
  • My chicks have yellow beaks.