T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Shag (Pied) Phalacrocorax varius

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Phalacrocorax
Species: P. varius
Binomial name: Phalacrocorax varius
Common names: Pied Shag, Pied Cormorant, Australian Pied Cormorant, Black-and-white Cormorant, Black-and-white Shag, Greater Pied Cormorant, Karuhiruhi, Large Pied Cormorant, Yellow-faced Cormorant.

Phalacrocorax varius is a cormorant species found in New Zealand and in Australia. It is a distinctively coloured, large black and white seabird. Pied shags have a large and distinctive hooked beak. They breed throughout New Zealand in colonies. 
In the past pied shags were persecuted by fisherman, being seen as competitors for fish with fisherman. Nowadays the pied shag is a protected species and the species numbers are now increasing dramatically in New Zealand's coastal waters. 
They nest on a large platform of sticks and seaweed, primarily in trees but can be on the ground or human structures. Clutches can be laid in all months but the two peaks of breeding are August/September and February/March. They lay 2-5 eggs. Chicks grow rapidly, and fledge at 53 days and feed by parents for further 80 days. Single nests are used multiple times in a season, and by different pairs.
They feed on coastal fish such as mullet and flounders and also paddle crabs. Pied shags dive below the surface to feed, diving down to depths of 20 metres.

 

 

Resting on the LPG Platform in the Manukau harbour, Auckland.
 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information     https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/