The little cormorant, scientific name Microcarbo niger is a member of the cormorant family of seabirds. Barely smaller than the Indian cormorant it lacks a peaked head and has a shorter beak. In this article, you will be able to know about little cormorant Indian cormorant, lake, in flight, flying, vs great cormorant, bird.
Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger) Profile
Little cormorant is extensively distributed throughout the Indian Subcontinent and extends east to Java, the place it’s typically referred to as the Javanese cormorant.
Little cormorant forages singly or typically in unfastened teams in lowland freshwater our bodies, together with small ponds, giant lakes, streams and typically coastal estuaries.
Like different cormorants, it’s usually discovered perched on a waterside rock with its wings unfold out after popping out of the water.
The complete physique is black within the breeding season however the plumage is brownish, and the throat has a small whitish patch within the non-breeding season.
These birds breed gregariously in bushes, usually becoming a member of different waterbirds at heronries.
Little cormorant Description
The little cormorant is about 50 cm lengthy and solely barely smaller than the Indian cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis).
The Indian cormorant has a narrower and longer bill which ends in an outstanding hook tip, blue iris and an extra pointed head profile.
The breeding grownup hen has a glistening all-black plumage with some white spots and filoplumes on the face.
There’s additionally a brief crest on the again of the pinnacle. The eyes, gular pores and skin and face are darkish. Within the non-breeding hen or juvenile, the plumage is brownish and the bill and gular pores and skin can seem extra fleshy.
The crest turns inconspicuous and a small and well-marked white patch on the throat is usually seen.
In the direction of the west of the Indus River valley, its vary can overlap with vagrant pygmy cormorants (Microcarbo pygmaeus), which might be troublesome to distinguish within the subject and are typically even thought of as conspecific.
The sexes are indistinguishable within the subject, however, males are typically bigger. Some irregular silvery-grey plumages have been described.
The species was described by Vieillot in 1817 as Hydrocorax niger. The genus Hydrocorax actually means water crow.
It was later included with the opposite cormorants within the genus Phalacrocorax however some research place the smaller “microcormorants” below the genus Microcarbo.
Little cormorant Distribution
The little cormorant is discovered throughout India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and lowland Nepal. It is usually present in components of Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia.
It’s not discovered within the Himalayas, however, vagrants have been seen in Ladakh. It inhabits wetlands, starting from small village ponds to giant lakes, and typically tidal estuaries.
Little cormorant Feeding / Diet plan
The Little Cormorant can dive to appreciable depths, however, normally feeds in shallow water. It often brings prey to the floor. All kinds of fish are taken.
Little cormorant Breeding
It breeds in tropical southern Asia from southern Pakistan via India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia. Its resident however undertakes some restricted seasonal actions.
Initially described by French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot in 1817, this can be a widespread and widespread hen species.
It breeds in freshwater wetlands and on coasts. 3-5 eggs are laid in a nest in a tree or lengthy grass.
Little cormorant Behaviour and ecology
Little cormorants are likely to forage primarily in small unfastened teams and are sometimes seen foraging alone.
They swim underwater to seize their prey, primarily fish. An examination in northern India discovered that the little cormorant fished in water that was lower than a metre deep and captured fishes of about 2 – eight cm size.
They propel themselves underwater utilizing their webbed ft. Captured fishes are sometimes introduced as much as the floor to swallow them and through this time different birds together with different little cormorants, painted storks, gulls and egrets might try and steal them.
Indian cormorants are likely to fish communally in bigger teams. Like all different cormorants, they are going to emerge from the water and can maintain out their wings and keep motionless for some time.
The behaviour has been recommended to be for wing-drying, however, this interpretation is debated.
An examination in Sri Lanka discovered that the time spent with unfold wings was all the time after that they had spent a while underwater, and that the period was associated with time spent underwater and inversely associated with the temperature and dryness of the air.
These observations assist the idea that the studied behaviour aids the drying of the wings.
The breeding season of the little cormorant is between July to September in Pakistan and northern India and November to February in southern India.
In Sri Lanka, it’s December to Could. An examination in Bangladesh discovered them to breed from Could to October.
Males show on the nest web site by fluttering their wings whereas holding their head again and bill raised.
They then decrease the bill, and after pairing the male additionally supplies meals to the feminine in courtship feeding.
Each dad and mom participate in constructing the nest, which is a platform of sticks positioned on bushes and typically even on coconut palms. They could nest beside Indian pond herons and little egrets in colonies.
The nest is in-built for about two weeks. The whitish eggs flip muddy with age and incubation begins when the primary egg is laid.
This results in asynchronous hatching and the chicks in a nest can differ significantly in age. The clutch dimension can differ from two to 6 eggs laid at intervals of about two days.
The eggs hatch after 15 to 21 days. The downy chicks have a naked pink head. The younger birds are in a position to depart the nest after a few months.
Little cormorants are vocal close to their nest and roost the place they produce low roaring sounds.
In addition, they produce grunts and groans, low pitched ah-ah-ah and kok-kok-kok calls. They roost communally usually within the firm of different waterbirds.
Parasitic bird lice, Pectinopygus makundi, have been described from little cormorant hosts.
Endoparasitic helminths, Hymenolepis childi and Dilepis lepidocolpos have been described from Sri Lankan birds whereas others like Neocotylotretus udaipurensis and Syncuaria buckleyi have been described from Indian birds.
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