13 October, 2009

Australian Pied Cormorant

Scientific Name: Phalacrocorax varius

Population Estimate: 35K - 1M

Range / Habitat: Costal areas of Australia and New Zealand, ranging inland only to coastal lagoons and lakes.

Field Notes: Large cormorant with variable amounts of black above and white below. Long, hooked, pale bill. Blue eye and yellow patch between eye and bill.

Personal Notes: We saw amazing colonies of these birds nesting in the Fiordlands and Gisborne. They land quite awkwardly high in the trees to make their nests, sometimes requiring a few "fly-bys" before they can execute a landing. Known in New Zealand as Pied Shag. Other sources call it Large Pied Cormorant. Maori name Karuhiruhi.

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