Little Cormorant – growing flock sizes

posted in: birds, Migration-Migrants | 0

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


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