Pied shags, kāruhiruhi (Phalacrocorax varius) are a large member of the cormorant family found in coastal areas of NZ. The adult birds are black and white, with a distinctive yellow area in front of the eye. The white underside and large size distinguish pied shags from little shags and black shags, although juveniles of these species may sometimes be hard to distinguish.
Pied shags can be found in coastal areas around Marlborough and Kaikōura including the Marlborough Sounds, Wairau Diversion and Wairau Bar, Marfells Beach, Ward Beach and the Kaikōura coast and peninsula. The birds are excellent swimmers, and often can be observed near river mouths or in the sea diving for fish. They can also often be seen resting in groups on beaches.
This example was photographed at the Wairau Diversion.
Location: Latitude: -41.440262 Longitude: 174.029221"
Image Date: 10/2/2013
Photographer: Christopher Cookson