Fun Little Cormorant Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Little Cormorant Facts For Kids

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Cormorants are medium -large-sized water birds with dark-colored wings, long necks, webbed feet, and hooked bill belongs to the Phalacrocoracidae family are habitats of coastal regions or any inland waters. Lets us explore one of the cormorant bird species: the little cormorant.

The little cormorant (Microcarbo niger) is a seabird often found on the waterside rocks with wings widely open after coming out of the water. Vieillot first described this waterbird in 1817 as Hydrocorax niger, which means the water crow. Later its placed under the genus Microcarbo. After coming out of the water, they keep their wings in a steady motion and become motionless for sometimes, it is believed that they do to dry up their wings, and this technique is called wing drying. The breeding time is different and ranges based on the location.

To know more interesting facts about little cormorant (Microcarbo niger), go through this content. To learn about similar species, check out these glossy starling facts and Gloster canary facts.

Fun Little Cormorant Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2-6 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.79-1.146 lb (360-520 g)

How long are they?

20-22.04 in (50-56 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black or brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Streams, Large Lakes, Small Ponds, And Sometimes Coastal Estuaries


India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, And Lowland Nepal









Little Cormorant Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a little cormorant?

The little cormorant (Microcarbo niger) is a seabird member of the cormorant or Phalacrocoracidae family of seabirds. This seabird, adapted to the life in a marine environment, belongs to the Microcarbo genus. These birds, belonging to this genus, are generally fish-eating birds called cormorants.

What class of animal does a little cormorant belong to?

The little cormorant, which is frequently found swimming in water bodies with head and neck parts pointing above the water level and body below the water surface, belongs to the Aves class. Other members of their family include the pelagic cormorant and the flightless cormorant.

How many little cormorants are there in the world?

Although the exact population of this little cormorant is unknown, these cormorant species are widely distributed across the Indian Subcontinent and extend east to Java, which is why this bird is also sometimes called the Javanese cormorant.

Where does a little cormorant live?

The little cormorant (Microcarbo niger) is found in countries like Srilanka, India, Bangladesh, lowland Nepal, and Pakistan. In addition, these birds are habitats of wetlands found in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia, Myanmar.

What is a little cormorant's habitat?

The little cormorant habitat is almost all the aquatic locations such as bays, coasts, lakes, and rivers. Their habitat ranges from rocky coasts to mangrove swamps, and large reservoirs to small inland ponds. Nesting is seen near sea cliffs or on ground islands.

Who do little cormorants live with?

A group of cormorants is called flight, gulp, sunning, swim. Little cormorants forage alone, but sometimes in loose groups, in lowland freshwater bodies, including small ponds, large lakes, streams, and sometimes coastal estuaries. Like other cormorant species, it is found perched on a waterside rock with its wings and speeds the wings after coming out of seawater.

How long does a little cormorant live?

The lifespan of the little cormorant Microcarbo niger is unknown. However, the lifespan of great cormorant is, on average is 15 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season depends on the range and location of the species. The breeding season of this little cormorant is between December-May in Sri Lanka, November-February in southern India, July-September in Pakistan and northern India. To seduce the female, males display some action with their wings by fluttering and holding the head and bill part raised. Offering food to the female is also a part of their process. Both partners build the nest, which is on the trees or bushes or sometimes on coconut palms. The nest is made up of sticks and built-in for around two weeks. The white eggs initially flip into muddy with age. The incubation process starts when the first egg is laid. The total clutch size is between two and six eggs, laid in almost two days. The incubation period is 15 - 21 days. The chicks have a naked pink head and leave the nest after a month.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the little cormorant is the Least concern. Their breeding has low levels of success as these species make nesting on the grounds which are prone to loss of eggs because of flooding, bad weather conditions, and predators.

Little Cormorant Fun Facts

What do little cormorants look like?

The little cormorant (Microcarbo niger) has a rectangular-shaped small head with a short bill. The head appears rectangular because of the steep forehead. The little cormorant's entire body is black in the breeding season, whereas plumage is brownish, and the throat has a small white patch in the non-breeding season. The breeding adult has a short crest on the back of the head, with eyes, skin, and face dark. In the non-breeding adult, the bill and skin can appear to be fleshy. When perched, the little cormorant is appeared to be more heavily built than its usual shape. It has a short neck and a long tail. A little cormorant's neck is as long as or shorter than the tail; neck and tail parts are as long as the body, then the cormorant is likely to be a little cormorant.

Little cormorant Microcarbo niger has a short crest on the back of the head.

How cute are they?

Little cormorants are duck-like water birds with black bodies and pointed heads who catch the fish from underwater. Some may appreciate the looks of this water bird, and you'll be amazed by its skills at efficiently hunting the fish by swimming underwater.

How do they communicate?

Little cormorants make low vocal sounds near their nests and roosting sites. For example, the low-pitched voices might be ah-ah-ah and kok-kok-kok calls. They are observed to be mingling with other water birds while making such vocal sounds.

How big is a little cormorant?

The little cormorant is a seabird with an average weight of 0.79 - 1.146 lb (360 - 520 g) and an average length of 20- 22.04 in (50-56 cm) with a wingspan of 35.43 in (90 cm). This bird's weight is four times less than the weight of double-crested cormorants, whose average weight is 2.64–5.51 lb (1200–2500 g).

How fast can a little cormorant fly?

The exact speed of the little cormorants is unknown, but generally, the average speed of the Cormorant species is 35 mph (56.3 kph). The amusing thing is these water birds are good at swimming and going to at least a meter deep and do fishing at about 0.79 – 3.15 in (2 – 8 cm) in length. In addition, their webbed feet help in diving underwater.

How much does a little cormorant weigh?

The weight of the little cormorant Microcarbo niger is 0.79 - 1.146 lb (360 - 520 g). Its weight is slightly smaller than the Indian cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female species are known as little male cormorant and little female cormorant, respectively. The male birds are slightly larger than the female species. During the courtship display, the male provides food to the female species.

What would you call a baby little cormorant?

The baby cormorant is called a chick. Immature chicks have pale neck parts with some pale fringes and a whitish chin and throat.

What do they eat?

The primary food of the little cormorant (Microcarbo niger) is fish and sometimes also crustaceans and amphibians. These species swim underwater to capture their prey with the help of their webbed feet. They are found hunting in small groups.

Are they dangerous?

No, these are not dangerous species, but because of their excellent efficiency in fishing and having a large quantity of fish, they became a threat to the fish population. As a result, these cormorants are sometimes called fish terrorists or water turkeys. Sometimes, a large group of these birds attack water sources for their food, resulting in a drastic reduction in the fish population.

Would they make a good pet?

As they are water birds and habitats of freshwater bodies, it's not a good idea to make them adjust in a human-made environment. And the worst part is the poop of seabirds is quite foul. Keeping these birds as pets is illegal in most places.

Did you know...

The cormorant symbolizes bravery, action and can react quickly. This noble bird has clarity about its needs and has a perfect idea of achieving what it needs. Though it is a bird, it dives into the water to catch its prey.

This waterbird, little cormorant (Microcarbo niger), efficiently uses its body to catch fish. They use the highest energy to fly with their short wings, and their webbed feet help forcefully to push water while hunting for its prey; plus, the hooked tip of its bill acts as a fishing tackle in grabbing its prey.

Naming the little cormorant bird

This bird is the smallest of all cormorants; that is why it may be named little cormorant. They are also known as Halietor niger, Phalacrocorax niger, and Phalacrocorax javanicus.

How many types of cormorants are there?

As per International Ornithological Congress (IOC), there are 42 species of cormorants and shags. Almost all the cormorants generally have dark feathers with long thin, hooked bills and prey on fish.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these gnatcatcher interesting facts or giant kingfisher surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Little cormorant coloring pages.

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