1527. Phalacrocorax fuscicollis.
The Indian Shag.
Phalacrocorax fuscicollis, Steph, in Shaw's Gen. Zool. xiii, pt. 1. p. 91 (18251; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 496; Dav. & Wend. S. F. vii, p. 93; Butler, ibid. pp. 178,189, 467 ; Ball, ibid. p. 234 ; Hume, Cat. no. 1006; Doig, S. F. viii, p. 372; Legge, Birds Ceyl.-p. 1182; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 442 ; Davidson, S. F. x, p. 327; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 233 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 439; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 305; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 352 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 272. Graculus sinensis, apud Blyth, Cat. p. 298; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 862; King, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 218 ; Oates, S. F. iii, p 350; Butler, S. F. iv, p, 33. Graculus fuscicollis, Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 181; Bulger, Ibis, 1869, p. 170; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 164 ; Oates, S. F. v, p. 170.
The Lesser Cormorant, Jerdon.
Coloration. Black, glossed with purplish or greenish ; feathers of upper back, scapulars, and wing-coverts dull brownish bronze, with broad black margins. There are a few white specks on the sides of the head, and, in breeding-plumage only, a pure white tuft on each side of the neck behind the ear-coverts.
In non-breeding plumage, the throat is more or less speckled with white.
Young birds are brown above, with black margins to the feathers of the upper back, to the scapulars, and wing-coverts ; throat white; breast and abdomen partly or wholly white.
Bill dusky brown, reddish beneath ; irides verdigris-blue; nude orbits black; gular skin yellow; feet black (Jerdon). Irides green ; naked skin of head yellow (Oates).
Length 25; tail (of 12 feathers) 6.5; wing 10.5; tarsus 1.8; bill from gape 3.25.
Distribution. This species is rare or wanting in Northern India, except in Sind, where it is a permanent resident, and about Delhi. It has been found sparingly in Central India, the Deccan, the Carnatic, and Orissa, and has been seen occasionally in Ceylon, but appears not to have been observed on the Malabar coast. It is more common to the eastward in Burma, and was found by Hume in Manipur. It is probable that in some cases small females of P. carbo have been mistaken for P. fuscicollis.
Habits, &c. The Indian Shag is a bird of rivers, lakes, and estuaries, rather than of the sea-coasts. It is resident in India, and has been found breeding by Oates in July amongst reeds in the Myitkyo Swamp, Pegu, and by Doig and Butler on tamarisk trees in the Eastern Nara, Sind, from July to December. The eggs are like those of P. carbo, and measure about 2.1 by 1.4.