The Enigmatic Indian Cormorant: A Comprehensive Exploration of Phalacrocorax fuscicollis


The Indian Cormorant, also known as the Indian Shag (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis), is a unique member of the cormorant family. A widely distributed species, the Indian Cormorant extends from Sind in the west to Thailand and Cambodia in the east. A cormorant with blue eyes, sloping forehead, and a hooked bill.This comprehensive examination will delve into the enigmatic world of the Indian Cormorant, a species integral to bird sanctuaries and a delight for every bird lover. Whether you’re interested in bird migration or searching for a bird shop near me, this piece will offer insights into this beautiful bird’s life.

Table: Key Characteristics of the Indian Cormorant

Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameIndian Cormorant
2Scientific namePhalacrocorax fuscicollis
3ColourMedium-sized bronze brown, scalloped in black on upper plumage
4Average lengthNot specified
5Average heightNot specified
6Type of birdInland waters / Wetlands / Estuaries
7Found in India in statesSind, Peninsular India, Assam
8HabitatInland rivers, large wetlands, estuaries, mangroves
9IUCN StatusNot specified

Features of the Indian Cormorant


The Indian Cormorant doesn’t flaunt massive dimensions, but it is medium-sized, designed for agility rather than dominance. This bronze-brown bird is a subject of interest in many bird sanctuaries and for people who are into bird photography. Its well-proportioned body and wings provide the necessary attributes for practical flying and diving, which is crucial for birdlife.


When measured from tip to tail while standing upright, the Indian Cormorant presents an imposing stature. Its height is another remarkable feature that captivates bird lovers and wildlife photographers. Though exact measurements can vary, the Indian Cormorant’s height is an impressive trait, often documented in bird photos and bird images.

Running Speed

Although not known for their land speed, Indian Cormorants are agile in the water. Whether you’re an ornithologist, a casual bird watcher, or someone searching for a bird shop near me, observing an Indian Cormorant on the move is a captivating experience. These birds usually glide over water surfaces before diving in for a catch, displaying impressive coordination and speed.


The colour of the Indian Cormorant is a striking medium-sized bronze brown with a scalloped black upper plumage. This unique colour scheme sets it apart in bird sanctuaries and is a delight for any bird lover. The bird may exhibit various shades in different seasons, offering a captivating subject for bird pictures and photography.

Habitat and Food of the Indian Cormorant

  1. Inland Waters: Prefers inland rivers and large wetlands.
  1. Estuaries and Mangroves: Also found in these areas but not along the open coast.
  1. Gregarious Fishing: Often seen fishing in groups, usually driving fish into corners.
  1. Food: Mainly feeds on fish.
  1. Geographical Spread: Found in peninsular India, extending to Thailand and Cambodia.

Nesting and Nurturing

The Indian Cormorant breeds between July to February, depending on regional conditions. The bird nests are platforms of twigs placed either in partially submerged trees or those growing on islands. These nests, often sought after in bird sanctuaries, are very similar to those of storks and other waterbirds and are usually built in dense colonies. The birdhouse, or bird nest, usually houses 3 to 5 bluish-green eggs with chalky surfaces. The male takes on the incubation duties, reflecting unique birdlife practices.


The Indian Cormorant faces several threats, including habitat loss and water pollution. These threats are significant obstacles for the bird, often discussed in bird sanctuaries and among bird lovers. Another emerging threat is the competition for food resources with growing human populations near their habitats.

IUCN Status and Conservation

While the IUCN status of the Indian Cormorant is not explicitly mentioned, efforts are on to study and preserve this species. Many bird sanctuaries and birdlife sanctuaries are actively involved in conservation efforts. The bird nest and breeding habits of this species are also being studied to understand better how to protect this unique birdlife.


The Indian Cormorant remains an intriguing subject for ornithologists, photographers, and bird lovers alike. As we continue to explore this fascinating bird’s facets, engaging in conservation efforts becomes increasingly crucial. Whether you’re looking for bird migration data, planning a trip to a bird sanctuary, or simply interested in bird pictures, the Indian Cormorant offers an alluring field of study. Its unique features, intriguing behaviour, and captivating presence make it a treasure of the avian world, worthy of admiration and protection.

More info about Indian Cormorant – Link

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