Great Cormorants sighted over Pasir Ris Park

on 15th March 2019

“On 2nd March morning, Chan Yoke Meng and a few friends saw a pair of Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) flew past Pasir Ris Park beach, heading towards Pulau Ubin. Are you able to check with any experts if these cormorants are the same ‘free ranging from Jurong Bird Park? From Meng’s photos, I see one of the two cormorants has ‘breeding features’” wrote Melinda Chan.

A pair of Great Cormorant over Pasir Ris Park. Photo Credit: Chan Yoke Meng.

Great Cormorants are not native to Singapore. Any seen are escapees. According to wildlife consultant Subaraj Rajathurai, “There have been up to 8 Great Cormorants that hang out around the Kranji/Sungei Mandai coast, which are originally believed to have originated from Jurong Bird Park. So that may be the source for the two at Pasir Ris.

Great Cormorant. Photo Credit: Chan Yoke Meng.

“However, time of year is also important. The only other Great Cormorant in the East of Singapore occurred a couple of decades ago and based on behaviour, plumage and the December 17th date, it is in my Singapore checklist as a Vagrant.

Great Cormorant. Photo Credit: Chan Yoke Meng.

“The breeding plumage is worrying though as a naturally occurring vagrant should not really show that plumage. More like a free-flying bird from JBP or even from the zoo in Johor.”

Chan Yoke Meng, Melinda Chan & Subaraj Rajathurai
6th March 2019

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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