Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Indian cormorant

Thai: นกกาน้ำปากยาว, nok kaa nam pak yao

Binomial name: Phalacrocorax fuscicollis, James Francis Stephens, 1826

The Indian cormorant or Indian shag (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) is a member of the cormorant family. It is found mainly along the inland waters of the Indian Subcontinent but extending west to Sind and east to Thailand and Cambodia. It is a gregarious species that can be easily distinguished from the similar sized little cormorant by its blue eye, small head with a sloping forehead and a long narrow bill ending in a hooked tip.

Description

This medium-sized bronze brown cormorant is scalloped in black on the upper plumage, lacks a crest and has a small and slightly peaked head with a long narrow bill that ends in a hooked tip. The eye is blue and bare yellow facial skin during the non-breeding season. Breeding birds have a short white ear tuft. In some plumages it has a white throat but the white is restricted below the gape unlike in the much larger great cormorant. Sexes are similar, but non-breeding adults and juveniles are browner.

Habitat and distribution

This cormorant fishes gregariously in inland rivers or large wetlands of peninsular India and northern part of Sri Lanka. It also occurs in estuaries and mangroves but not on the open coast. They breed very locally in mixed species breeding colonies. They extend north-east to Assam and eastward into Thailand, Burma and Cambodia.

Behaviour

The breeding season is July to February but depends on rainfall and water conditions. In northern India, they breed from July to February and in Sri Lanka, between November and February. The nest is a platform of twigs placed in the forks of partially submerged trees or those growing on islands. The nests are placed in close proximity to those of other Indian cormorants, storks or waterbirds in dense colonies, often with several tiers of nests. The usual clutch is three to five eggs which are bluish green and with a chalky surface.

The Indian cormorant makes short dives to capture fish and a group will often fish communally, forming a broad front to drive fish into a corner.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Suliformes
Family
Phalacrocoracidae
Genus
Phalacrocorax
Species
Phalacrocorax fuscicollis

Common names

  • Thai: นกกาน้ำปากยาว, nok kaa nam pak yao

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Indian cormorant, Phalacrocorax fuscicollis in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Lat District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Pho District, Chachoengsao
  • Ban Phraek District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Ban District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Lamung District, Chonburi
  • Bang Len District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Bang Pahan District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao
  • Bang Phra Non-hunting Area
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bangkok Province
  • Bangkok Coast
  • Bueng Boraped Non-hunting Area
  • Bueng Boraphet Non-hunting Area
  • Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Kabin Buri District, Prachinburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani
  • Ko Sichang District, Chonburi
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mae Wong National Park
  • Mahachai Mangrove Forest Learning & Development Ce
  • Mueang Chachoengsao District, Chachoengsao
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Kamphaeng Phet District, Kamphaeng Phet
  • Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Phichit District, Phichit
  • Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok
  • Mueang Ratchaburi District, Ratchaburi
  • Mueang Rayong District, Rayong
  • Mueang Samut Prakan District, Samut Prakan
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Nong Suea District, Pathum Thani
  • Pa Sak Chonlasit Dam Non-hunting Area
  • Pak Phli District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Pak Thale
  • Pak Tho District, Ratchaburi
  • Phaisali District, Nakhon Sawan
  • Phayuha Khiri District, Nakhon Sawan
  • Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Phutthamonthon District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Sai Noi District, Nonthaburi
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • Samut Sakhon Coast
  • Sanam Bin Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Si Satchanalai District, Sukhothai
  • Taphan Hin District, Phichit
  • Tha Wung District, Lopburi
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
  • Wang Noi District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Wat Phai Lom & Wat Ampu Wararam Non-hunting Area

Range map of Phalacrocorax fuscicollis in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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