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Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger


The Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger) is a member of the cormorant family of seabirds. Slightly smaller than the Indian cormorant it lacks a peaked head and has a shorter beak. It is widely distributed across the Indian Subcontinent and extends east to Java, where it is sometimes called the Javanese cormorant.

It forages singly or sometimes in loose groups in lowland freshwater bodies, including small ponds, large lakes, streams and sometimes coastal estuaries. Like other cormorants, it is often found perched on a waterside rock with its wings spread out after coming out of the water. The entire body is black in the breeding season but the plumage is brownish, and the throat has a small whitish patch in the non-breeding season. These birds breed gregariously in trees, often joining other waterbirds at heronries.

Distribution
The Little Cormorant is found across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and lowland Nepal. It is also found in parts of Burma, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia. It is not found in the Himalayas, but vagrants have been seen in Ladakh. It inhabits wetlands, ranging from small village ponds to large lakes, and sometimes tidal estuaries.

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger, นกกาน้ำเล็ก

Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

Description
The Little Cormorant is about 50 centimetres 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.[1] Some abnormal silvery-grey plumages have been described.

The species was described by Vieillot in 1817 as Hydrocorax niger. The genus Hydrocorax literally means water crow. It was later included with the other cormorants in the genus Phalacrocorax but some studies place the smaller "microcormorants" under the genus Microcarbo.

Behaviour and ecology
Little cormorants tend to forage mainly in small loose groups and are often seen foraging alone. They swim underwater to capture their prey, mainly fish. A study in northern India found that the Little Cormorant fished in water which was less than a metre deep and captured fishes of about 2–8 centimetres length. They propel themselves underwater using their webbed feet.

Captured fishes are often brought up to the surface to swallow them and during this time other birds including other Little Cormorants, Painted Storks, gulls and egrets may attempt to steal them. Indian cormorants tend to fish communally in larger groups. Like all other cormorants, they will emerge from water and will hold out their wings and stay immobile for a while.

The behaviour has been suggested to be for wing-drying, but this interpretation is debated. A study in Sri Lanka found that the time spent with spread wings was always after they had spent some time underwater, and that the duration was related to time spent underwater and inversely related to the temperature and dryness of air. These observations support the theory that the studied behaviour aids drying of the wings.

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger, นกกาน้ำเล็ก
Little Cormorant drying the wings
Sasan Gir, India - January 2016

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 is December to May. A study in Bangladesh found them to breed from May to October. Males display at the nest site by fluttering their wings while holding their head back and bill raised.

They then lower the bill, and after pairing the male also provides food to the female in courtship feeding. Both parents take part in building the nest, which is a platform of sticks placed on trees and sometimes even on coconut palms. They may nest beside Indian pond herons and little egrets in colonies. The nest is built in about two weeks.

The whitish eggs turn muddy with age and incubation begins when the first egg is laid. This leads to asynchronous hatching and the chicks in a nest can vary considerably in age. The clutch size can vary from two to six eggs laid at intervals of about two days. The eggs hatch after 15 to 21 days. The downy chicks have a bare red head. The young birds are able to leave the nest after about a month.

Little cormorants are vocal near their nest and roosts where they produce low roaring sounds. They also produce grunts and groans, a low pitched ah-ah-ah and kok-kok-kok calls. They roost communally often in the company of other 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 while others like Neocotylotretus udaipurensis and Syncuaria buckleyi have been described from Indian birds

Listen to the Little Cormorant


Conservation status
Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger, นกกาน้ำเล็ก
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
International Union for Conservation of Nature.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

www.birdforum.net


Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 18 January 2016
Location: Ranthambhore, India


Among others I have used Peter Ericsson's web page Birds of Thailand These galleries contain 668 species of the Birds of Thailand and have been of a great help to identify some of the birds as the birds in Thailand and India are, well, many of them are the same.

I have had most help from my friend, the bird pal I met at Suan Rot Fai. Sending pictures of birds I have not been able to identify to him via Line. 3 minutes later he and he have managed to identify most of the birds I have had problems with. THANKS! Visit his web page m☥lever for his beautiful pictures.

And my new aid, maybe, and I say maybe the best aid. I brought my mobile phone as my SIM card have stopped working and I tried to get it to work again so I can use the internet. Thus I had my phone in my pocket on my first game drive in Jim Corbett National Park.

We saw a bird and I asked my Guide and the driver if they had a pen and a paper as I had forgot my pen and paper in my room. I remembered my LG phone and I recorded the name. And thus I will always bring my phone. Writing the name in the car and I have found more than once that it can be hard to read what I had wrote when I'm back in my room.

So now I always have my mobile in my pocket and it has been a great help.

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 18 January 2016 - Ranthambhore, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 18 January 2016 - Ranthambhore, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 18 January 2016 - Ranthambhore, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 18 January 2016 - Ranthambhore, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 29 January 2016 - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 29 January 2016 - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 29 January 2016 - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 29 January 2016 - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 29 January 2016 - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 2 February 2016 - Pench National Park, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 3 December 2016 - Sundarban Tiger Reserve, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 3 December 2016 - Sundarban Tiger Reserve, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 3 December 2016 - Sundarban Tiger Reserve, India

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Little cormorant - 11 March 2018 - Sundarban Tiger Reserve, India



PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook



       
                  



                                       

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