Little Cormorant

Little Cormorant, Photo: ANM Aminoor Rahman

ছোট পানকৌড়ি/পানি কাউর/পানি কাক

Microcarbo niger, (Vieillot, 1817)

রাজ্য / Kingdom: Animalia
বর্গ / Order: Suliformes
পরিবার / Family: Phalacrocoracidae
গন / Genus: Microcarbo
প্রজাতি / Species: M. niger

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Little cormorant is a member of “Phalacrocoracidae” or cormorant family. It is a small duck like water bird. The breeding cormorant has glistering black or brownish-black plumage with some white spot. Non-breeding bird has a small white patch on throat. Adult has a small erectile crest at the back of the head. Its bill is compressed and sharply hooked at the tip. Its eyes and face are black while juvenile seems to have more fleshy bill and gular skin. The sexes are alike.

Size: 50-56 cm.

Wingspan:90 cm.

Weight: 360-520 gm.

Voice: Often silent but when at nest, deep grunts and groans are heard and also a low pitched ah-ah-ah and kok-kok-kok calls.

Food habit: It lives exclusively on fish. And also crustaceans and amphibians are sometimes on their menu. It chases and catches its prey under water being expert diver and under water swimmer. It sometimes hunts solely or occasionally in flocks. It swallows it prey coming on the surface. When satiated, it perches upright on a rock or any high place near water and dries itself outstretching its wings.

Habitat: It is usually found in both inland and coastal  water bodies. They are seen beside tanks, bills, creeks, ponds, estuaries, lagoon, marshes, swamps, fish ponds etc.

Reproduction behavior: Breeding season is mainly from June to September in North Indian region and November to February in South Indian region. Its nest is a shallow twig platform on trees. It usually lives in a mixed colony with egrets, storks etc. Its nest can be both near and away from water bodies. Female lays 4 or 5 eggs which are bluish green with a chalky surface.

Distribution: Throughout the Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia.


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