Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s TakahÄ“ Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

2019 Winner Y8-Y13 NIWA Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Abby Haezelwood

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Abby Haezelwood with her winning Science Exhibit on Plastic Beaches at the NIWA Taihoro Nuk..

The Tiritiri Concert

Date posted: 11-Feb-2020

Folk on the Water The 2020 Tiritiri Matangi Conce..

2020 Photo competition now open

Date posted: 15-Jan-2020

This year's photo competition is now open for entries. Please click here (/m..

AGM 2019

Date posted: 09-Sep-2019

Our Annual General Meeting was held at 7:30 pm on Monday 23rd September at the F..

More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

Pied Shag

Scientific name:

 Phalacrocorax varius varius

Maori Name:




Conservation status:

 Threatened, Nationally vulnerable

Mainland status:

 Widespread in northern sheltered regions


 81cm, 2kg 


 20+ years


 All year



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.