Indian cormorant

   ›      ›   Indian cormorant - Phalacrocorax fuscicollis.

The Indian cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) belongs to the family Phalacrocoracidae. The Indian cormorant species is distributed in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Taxonomy of Indian cormorant

  • Scientific Name: Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
  • Common Name: Indian cormorant
  • French: Cormoran à cou brun; German: Braunwangenscharbe; Spanish: Cormorán indio;
  • Other names: Indian shag;
  • Family: Phalacrocoracidae › Suliformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Stephens, 1826
Phalacrocorax fuscicollis bird is sometimes placed under genus Hypoleucos.


The Indian cormorant is a medium sized bird, measuring, 60 cm in length and weighing 600 to 800 grams. These birds have a long tail and long thin bill ending in hooked tip. A characteristic of these birds is the blue color of the eyes. It is bronze brown colored and the upper plumage is scalloped in black. Breeding birds have a short white ear tuft. They make short harsh “grk” call or make sounds like “kit”.
Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
Indian cormorant - Phalacrocorax fuscicollis


These birds are found both in freshwater and saline habitats. They occur in ponds, lakes, streams, creeks and lagoons. They avoid open coasts.

Feeding habits

The Indian cormorant birds feed mainly on fish and catch the prey by diving in the waters. They are seen moving in a formation to corner fish.


The breeding season in northern India is between July to February and in southern parts is between November to February. These birds nest on half submerged trees and trees in islands. The nest is built with twigs. The usual clutch is three to five eggs.


These species are distributed in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Movement Patterns

This cormorant is a resident bird and moves locally in search of feed and water bodies.

Status and conservation

These bird species have a very large range and are considered least vulnerable. Habitat degradation, human activity in the breeding habitats and drying up of water bodies are the major threats to their survival.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these cormorant birds and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
Species:P. fuscicollis
Binomial name:Phalacrocorax fuscicollis
Distribution:Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia;
Feeding habits:fish;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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