Little cormorant

Phalacrocorax niger  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Phalacrocorax niger

Name:  Little cormorant

    Local Names:
  • Assamese     পানী কাউৰী
  • Gujarati     નાનો જળ કાગડો, નાનો કાજિયો
  • Hindi     छोटा पनकौवा, जोग्राबी
  • Kannada     ಪುಟ್ಟ ನೀರುಕಾಗೆ
  • Malayalam     ചെറിയ നീർക്കാക്ക
  • Marathi     छोटा पाणकावळा
  • Oriya     ପାଣିକୁଆ
  • Sanskrit     लघु जलकाक
  • Tamil     சின்ன நீர்க்காகம்
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The little cormorant is about 50 centimetres (20 in) long and only slightly smaller than the Indian cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis). The Indian cormorant has a narrower and longer bill which ends in a prominent hook tip, blue iris and a more pointed head profile. The breeding adult bird has a glistening all black plumage with some white spots and filoplumes on the face. There is also a short crest on the back of the head. The eyes, gular skin and face are dark. In the non-breeding bird or juvenile, the plumage is brownish and the bill and gular skin can appear more fleshy. The crest becomes inconspicuous and a small and well-marked white patch on the throat is sometimes visible. Towards the west of the Indus River valley, its range can overlap with vagrant pygmy cormorants (Microcarbo pygmaeus), which can be difficult to differentiate in the field and are sometimes even considered conspecific. The sexes are indistinguishable in the field, but males tend to be larger. Some abnormal silvery-grey plumages have been described.

Size in cm:

51-51 cm

Size in Inch

20-20 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

gray   (Bird may have more colors)


Exclusively fish.

Habit and habited:

On smaller waters occurs singly or in small goups; on large inland waters or estuaries often gathers in great flocks. Frequently hunts in parties. Often with indian, driving the fish towards shallower water. Rivers, lakes reservoirs, villages tanks, marshes canals, estuaries, saltpans and coastal waters.


Little cormorants produce low roaring, grunting and groaning sounds. They also make a low pitched ah-ah-ah and kok-kok-kok calls.

Bird Type:


The Little Cormorant is a black duck-like water bird with longish stiff tail, slender, compressed bill, sharply hooked at tip. A small white patch on the throat. Seen in singles or flocks at water-bodies or perching upright on rock or trees near water-bodies

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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