New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..

Extra Dawn Chorus Trip

Date posted: 20-Oct-2016

Stop Press: Extra Dawn Chorus trip now scheduled for Thursday 27th October 2016. ..

2016 AGM

Date posted: 06-Sep-2016

The 2016 AGM was held at the Kohia Centre at 7:30 pm on Monday 19th September. Click here (/..

Pied Shag

Scientific name:

 Phalacrocorax varius varius

Maori Name:

 Karuhiruhi

 

 

Conservation status:

 Threatened, Nationally vulnerable

Mainland status:

 Widespread in northern sheltered regions

Size:

 81cm, 2kg 

Lifespan:

 20+ years

Breeding:

 All year

Diet:

 Fish


This large shag is glossy black above and has black thighs and feet. The face from above the eye and the under parts is white. The bill is long and grey with pink below the bill. There is a patch of buff-yellow bare skin in front of the green eye which is surrounded by a blue eye-ring. The Pied Shag is silent except when nesting when the bird makes guttural croaks and gurgling sounds.

Diet is mainly live fish – flounder, mullet, perch, smelt and eels.

Pied shags usually nest in small colonies in cliff-side trees and can breed all year round, but laying peaks in July–October and January–March. The nest is usually a large platform 0.5m across built of sticks and seaweed. The clutch of 3–4 pale bluish-green eggs is incubated for 25–33 days. The chicks fledge at 47–60 days old and are fed by their parents for up to 11 weeks after fledging.

Pied shags breed in small numbers on Tiritir Matangi and are seen frequently round the coast. The photo below shows a large chick being fed at its nest on the Island.


Learn more about the pied shag at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by:  Dr Kerry Rodgers © (above right) and John Stewart © (below).

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.