Cormorants, known in New Zealand as shags, are expert flyers and streamlined underwater torpedoes. They can chase their prey underwater for up to three minutes! During the breeding season, these shags grow a special headdress of black crests, their eyes become ringed with blue, and the skin around their bill is vivid green. Together with their yellow feet, this makes them very colourful for a short time. After breeding season, the bright colours fade again.
Spotted shags nest in colonies of 10-700 pairs, these colonies are generally found on the ledges of coastal cliffs or on rocky islets. They are also one of eight species of shag found only in New Zealand.
Our spotted shag, Austin, lives in The Coast with our little penguins. He's quite the character, make sure to pay him a visit!