Bronze shag

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Bronze shag
Leucocarbo chalconotus.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Phalacrocorax
Species: P. chalconotus
Binomial name
Phalacrocorax chalconotus
Gray, 1845
Synonyms

Leucocarbo chalconotus

The bronze shag (Phalacrocorax chalconotus), also known as the Stewart Island shag or Stewart shag, is a species of shag endemic to the southernmost parts of the South Island of New Zealand, from the Otago Peninsula south to the Foveaux Strait, and to Stewart Island/Rakiura, from which it takes its name.

PhalacrocoraxStewartiKeulemans.jpg

The species is dimorphic in appearance. Roughly half the individuals are mostly dark bronze, but with white patches, similar to the king shag; the remainder are bronze all over. The two morphs breed together indifferently. These large, chunky birds are 68 cm (27 in) and weigh 1.8-2.9 kg (4-6.4 lbs).

Bronze shags breed colonially, making raised cup nests out of organic material and guano. Colonies are large enough to be strikingly visible, and are used year after year; there is a notable one on the northern shore of Taiaroa Head at the mouth of Otago Harbour. They feed in coastal waters, and are rarely if ever being seen inland or far out to sea.

They are related to the other blue-eyed shags.

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