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King Shag Leucocarbo carunculatus

Last Modified: 15-3-2019 14:23

A large black and white shag found only in the Marlborough Sounds the king shag may weigh up to 2.5 kilograms and measure up to 76 cm. The bird can be identified by its yellow caruncles above beak, blue eye rings and pink feet. There are around 600 birds which inhabit the outer Pelorus and Queen Charlotte Sound. Birds breed in a handful of exposed islands in the outer Sounds. Nests consist of a pile of twigs held together with droppings on flat rock platform. Nesting begins in Autumn with a clutch of normally two eggs. Birds live largely on a diet of sea floor fish such as sole and cod as well as crabs and other crustaceae.

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