Little Cormorant – growing flock sizes

on 21st November 2021

The Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger) used to be uncommon migrant to Peninsular Malaysia.

A summary of some observations over time:

  1. For the 1980s Wells (1999) states of them: “handful of sightings on the Malaysian West-Coast…”.
  2. In 2007 & 2009 sightings in Langkawi, Kedah as wells as 2007 in Bidor, Perak (Source: A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore by Allen Jeyarajasingam).
  3. In 2009 sighting at Marang River, Terengganu (Source: Malaysian Nature Society-Bird Conservation Council Records Committee, 2000-2013).
  4. In 2011 Lim Kim Chye & Lim Swee Yian saw a single bird in Taiping, Perak.
  5. In 2012 Connie Khoo, Eve Tung & I saw a single bird for an extended migration period (2012-2013) in the Tambun Interior ex-mining pool area, Ipoh, Perak.
  6. On 10th August 2013 I reported 12 migratory birds in one extended wetlands location near Malim Nawar, Perak
  7. On a number of occasions (5 episodes from February 2014 to May 2015) I have seen them collect nesting material. I had identified the nesting site but this has since been destroyed by mal-development.

The “A Checklist of the birds of Malaysia Dec 2016(v2)” lists the Little Cormorant as a rare migrant to the peninsular. However those of us in Perak have seen growing numbers of resident birds throughout the year, often flocks of 20-30 resident birds. Chiu Sein Chiong posted a video earlier this year (February 2018) of 40-50 birds at Malim Nawar wetlands site. Yesterday I saw a minimum of 90 birds at the same site; possibly as high as 120 (some were airborne, other feeding, others at other locations – I only counted those that were feeding in the water at one site). The resident birds are supplemented by migrants and possibly birds born locally.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia


Location: Malim Nawar, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Ex-mining pools, fish farming, wetlands

Date: 2nd November 2018

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld


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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