Pied shag (Phalacrocorax varius)
Nowadays the pied shag is a protected species and the species is increasing dramatically in numbers in New Zealand's coastal waters. Feeds 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.
Pied Shags are a distinctive and common bird along the Kaikoura Coast. They can be seen drying their wings on rocks or swimming around the inshore waters. Despite being almost an entirely coastal feeding species, pied shags nest inland at Kaikoura at Lake Rotorua. Pied shags are a social species and groups of birds can be seen resting on beaches, although they are generally a solitary species when feeding. Pied shags are a coastal species and rarely venture more than a kilometre or so offshore.