Little cormorant

   ›      ›   Little cormorant - Microcarbo niger.

The little cormorant (Microcarbo niger) belongs to the family Phalacrocoracidae. The little cormorant species is distributed in Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia.

Taxonomy of Little cormorant

  • Scientific Name: Microcarbo niger
  • Common Name: Little cormorant
  • French: Cormoran de Vieillot; German: Mohrenscharbe; Spanish: Cormor├ín de Java;
  • Other names: Hydrocorax niger Vieillot, 1817; Javanese cormorant;
  • Family: Phalacrocoracidae › Suliformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Vieillot, 1817)
Microcarbo niger bird is also known as Halietor niger, Phalacrocorax niger and Phalacrocorax javanicus.

Indian birds - Little cormorant - Microcarbo niger
Indian birds - Little cormorant - Microcarbo niger


The little cormorant is a small bird, measuring 50 to 55 cm in length and weighing 360 to 520 grams. The male bird is slightly larger. The wingspan is 90 cm. The breeding cormorant birds have black or brown-black plumage and a longish tail. Adults have a small erectile crest on the fore crown. The non breeding birds have a white patch on the throat. The webbed feet are black. Little cormorants produce low roaring, grunting and groaning sounds. They also make a low pitched ah-ah-ah and kok-kok-kok calls.


These birds are seen in both inland and coastal water bodies. They are found in village ponds, estuaries, lagoons, creeks, tidal flats, marshes, swamps, fish ponds, lakes and streams.

Feeding habits

The little cormorant birds mostly feed on fish and sometimes also crustaceans and amphibians. They dive to catch the prey and surface to swallow it.


These cormorant birds breed mainly during June to August in North India and November to February in southern India. The nest is constructed on trees. The clutch has two to six eggs.


These bird species is distributed in Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia.

Movement Patterns

The little cormorant species are mostly sedentary and make local movements in search of feed and roosts.

Status and conservation

The global population of these cormorant birds is not estimated. The overall population trend is not known. These birds are considered least vulnerable. Hunting of these birds, persecution from the aquaculture industry and breeding habitat degradation are the threats in conservation of these birds.

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 Microcarbo niger
Species:M. niger
Binomial name:Microcarbo niger
Distribution:Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka in Indian Subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia (Java);
Feeding habits:fish, crustaceans and amphibians;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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