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Spotted Shag


Spotted shag (Phalacrocorax punctatus)

 - Parekareka

Spotted Shag
Unlike the last three species of shag, the spotted shag is only a coastal species. Spotted shags are only found in New Zealand waters. Large colonies of thousands of birds breed on Banks Peninsula and smaller colonies are found in the Marlborough Sounds. Spotted shags nest on sheer rock faces. The adults develop elaborate crests when courtship is taking place. Spotted shags sometimes feed in large flocks.

Generally only small flocks of spotted shags are seen along the Kaikoura Coast. Occasionally flocks of hundreds of spotted shags are seen flying in impressive "V" formations along the Kaikoura Coastline and off the Kaikoura Peninsula on transit. A colony of spotted shags roosts on Barney’s Rock and a small colony roosts on rocks next to the New Wharf on the Kaikoura Peninsula.