Indian Cormorants (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)

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Indian Cormorants

The Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) is a member of the cormorant family of seabirds.


Distribution / Habitat:

It breeds in tropical Asia from Oman, Yemen, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka into Southeast Asia. It is resident but undertakes some seasonal movements.

This is a common and widespread bird species, which breeds in freshwater wetlands. 3-6 eggs are laid in a nest in a tree.



This is a smallish, slender, cormorant with a triangular head profile. It is 63 cm in length. Indian Cormorant is mainly black in the breeding season, with white neck plumes and a whitish throat. The wing-coverts are silvery and it has a longish tail.

This species can be separated from the similar looking Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger) by its slender bill, more peaked appearance to its head and lack of the glossy black plumage of the smaller bird. It is also more gregarious and is often found in larger bodies of water and rivers.

Males and females look alike, but non-breeding adults and juveniles are browner and lack the neck plumes.


Feeding / Diet:

The Indian Cormorant can dive to considerable depths, but usually feeds in shallow water. It frequently brings prey to the surface. A wide variety of fish are taken.



  • BirdLife International (2004). 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • Seabirds by Harrison, ISBN
  • Birds of India by Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp, ISBN

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