New Zealand Status: Indigenous
Conservation Status: Nat. Vulnerable
Phalacrocorax varius, commonly known as Pied Shag, adults are black on the crown, back of the neck, mantle, rump, wings, thighs and tail. The legs and webbed feet are also black. The upper wing coverts are grey-black with a thin black border. The face, throat, sides of neck and underparts are white. Their long, hooked beak is grey. The iris is green. On breeding adults, the skin in front of the eye is yellow and the eye-ring is blue. The base of beak is pink or pink-red. Non-breeding adults have paler skin colours than breeders.
The upperparts of juveniles have dark and pale brown tones while their underparts are white with varying amounts of brown mottling that ranges from almost entirely brown to very little brown. The skin in front of eye is pale yellow and eye-ring is grey. The base of the beak is grey to pale pink.
Phalacrocorax varius is mostly found in coastal marine habitats but occupies larger inland lakes and wetlands, particularly those near to the coast.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader