Seabird information

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Spotted shag

Parekareka | Stictocarbo punctatus punctatus

Has a grey head and body and a prominent white stripe down the side of neck, green face

Often seen in flocks, hunting fish

Feeds on small fish

Breeds in colonies around New Zealand, including Stewart Island, September to January

NZ Conservation Status Not Threatened

Spotted shags live only near the coast. They nest on cliff ledges above the sea, with large colonies found on Banks Peninsula and smaller colonies in the Marlborough Sounds.

Shags are expert divers and use their feet for propulsion underwater. Because the birds' feathers absorb water to help them dive deeply (up to 20 m), they have to stand on a rock with their wings spread to enable the feathers to dry before flying again.

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Spotted shag

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Parekareka | Stictocarbo punctatus punctatus

Has a grey head and body and a prominent white stripe down the side of neck, green face

Often seen in flocks, hunting fish

Feeds on small fish

Breeds in colonies around New Zealand, including Stewart Island, September to January

NZ Conservation Status Not Threatened

Spotted shags live only near the coast. They nest on cliff ledges above the sea, with large colonies found on Banks Peninsula and smaller colonies in the Marlborough Sounds.

Shags are expert divers and use their feet for propulsion underwater. Because the birds' feathers absorb water to help them dive deeply (up to 20 m), they have to stand on a rock with their wings spread to enable the feathers to dry before flying again.