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Spotted Shag

From Opus

Photo by janhaBluff, New Zealand, October 2004
Photo by janha
Bluff, New Zealand, October 2004
Phalacrocorax punctatus

Stictocarbo punctatus


[edit] Identification

Photo by craigwilsonOban, Stewart Island, New Zealand, February 2017
Photo by craigwilson
Oban, Stewart Island, New Zealand, February 2017

64–74 cm (25ΒΌ-29 in).
Compared with typical cormorants, the Spotted Shag is a light-coloured bird.
Its back is brown. Its belly is pale blue-grey (often appearing white), and the white continues up the sides of the neck and face, but the throat and the top of the head are dark blue-green.
In the mating season, it has an obvious double crest.
There is little sexual dimorphism.

[edit] Distribution

New Zealand endemic.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

P. p. punctatus:

North Island and South Island (New Zealand)

P. p. oliveri:

Stewart Island and adjacent western coast of South Island (New Zealand)

[edit] Habitat

Marine birds, coastal cliffs or on rocky islets. They forage in fairly deep water, up to 16km off shore.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

They nest in colonies of 10-700 pairs on ledges of cliffs. The nest is a platform about 0.6m across made of seaweed, grass and iceplants. The clutch of 1 – 4 pale blue eggs is incubated for 28 – 35 days. The chicks fledge at 57 – 71 days. The young are fed by both parents while in the nest.

[edit] Diet

There is very little detailed information. Their diet is thought to consist of small fish and crustaceans. They hunt by pursuit diving. They can form large feeding flocks.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2018)

[edit] External Links


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