Family Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)

Least Concern

Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis)


French: Cormoran à cou brun German: Braunwangenscharbe Spanish: Cormorán indio
Other common names: Indian Shag

Phalacrocorax fuscicollis


, 1826,



Sometimes placed in genus Hypoleucos. Monotypic.


Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka E to Indochina.

Descriptive notes

c. 63 cm; 600–790 g. Rather small, slim cormorant with longish tail and long, rather thin bill. Breeding adult at start of season has conspicuous white tuft on side of... read more


At colony utters short harsh “grk” or “kit” notes, usually in series, the notes often accelerating... read more


Freshwater and marine habitats, including lakes, jheels, mangrove creeks, rivers,... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly fish. Feeds primarily by pursuit-diving. Often forages in co-ordinated groups.


Season very variable, depending on region, local water conditions and monsoon; egg-laying mainly Jul–Feb. Colonial, often with other... read more


Sedentary; some movements over short distances in connection with local water conditions. In... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread in India, with 5861 counted in Jan 1991, including 2836 in Tamil Nadu and 1540 in Andhra Pradesh; 1554 nests at Bharatpur... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Indian Cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 August 2019).