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Little Shag

 

Little shag  (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos)

Kawaupaka

Little Shag
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Only half the size of the two previously mentioned shag species. Polymorphic species having a total black colouration or white throated phase or pied phase. Each of the 3 phases looks like either a miniature pied or black shag, but the little shag is easily distinguished by its smaller size. Numbers have increased dramatically in recent years. A freshwater and coastal species, but rarely seen offshore. Found throughout New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia. Feeds on small bullies around rock pools.

Seen along the Kaikoura coastline throughout the year sitting on rocks or feeding in rocky shallows. Groups of up to 5 birds are sighted. Most colonies are in discrete inland locations with birds flying down to coastal areas to feed.