Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

Goose-sized dark long-necked birds similar to cormorants but smaller and generally slimmer with a characteristic steep forehead. In the breeding season adults develop a dark glossy green plumage and prominent recurved crest on the front of their head. In the UK they breed on coastal sites, mainly in the north and west, and over half their population is found at fewer than 10 sites, making them an Amber List species. Shags usually stay within 100-200km of their breeding grounds.

Key ID Features:
Smaller, more slender-necked, (almost snake-like), and thinner billed than similar cormorant.
In summer plumage the short crest above a steep forehead and vivid green eye are distinctive.

Overview
Scientific name: Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Family: Cormorants and shags (Phalacrocoracidae)

Where to see them:
During the breeding season at their large Scottish colonies on Orkney, Shetland, the Inner Hebrides and the Firth of Forth. Elsewhere they can be seen commonly around the coasts of Wales and South West England (especially Devon and Cornwall).

Seen in UK: All year round.

What they eat
Fish and occasionally crustacea and molluscs.

Text (c) RSPB, used with permission
For more information click here
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer:
Tim Tapley

Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

Goose-sized dark long-necked birds similar to cormorants but smaller and generally slimmer with a characteristic steep forehead. In the breeding season adults develop a dark glossy green plumage and prominent recurved crest on the front of their head. In the UK they breed on coastal sites, mainly in the north and west, and over half their population is found at fewer than 10 sites, making them an Amber List species. Shags usually stay within 100-200km of their breeding grounds.

Key ID Features:
Smaller, more slender-necked, (almost snake-like), and thinner billed than similar cormorant.
In summer plumage the short crest above a steep forehead and vivid green eye are distinctive.

Overview
Scientific name: Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Family: Cormorants and shags (Phalacrocoracidae)

Where to see them:
During the breeding season at their large Scottish colonies on Orkney, Shetland, the Inner Hebrides and the Firth of Forth. Elsewhere they can be seen commonly around the coasts of Wales and South West England (especially Devon and Cornwall).

Seen in UK: All year round.

What they eat
Fish and occasionally crustacea and molluscs.

Text (c) RSPB, used with permission
For more information click here
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer:
Tim Tapley