04 December, 2011

Spotted Shag

Scientific Name: Phalacrocorax punctatus

Population Estimate: 35K - 150K

Range / Habitat: Endemic to New Zealand, where found in estuaries, harbors, and coastal waters of both islands.

Field Notes: Large, slender cormorant with long brown bill, long tail, and yellow feet. Broad white stripe from above eye and down sides of neck. Light brown wings with darker spots. The white stripe and spotted wings differentiate from Great Cormorant and Australian Pied Cormorant.

Personal Notes: We first saw this bird on the Otago Peninsula, later found it in Wellington Harbour, and finally found a "colony" at Oamaru (top photo). Maori name Parekareka.

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