Blue-eyed shag

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Blue-eyed shags
SGI-2016-South Georgia (Cooper Bay)–Blue-eyed shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps).jpg
South Georgia shag
Phalacrocorax georgianus
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Reichenbach, 1850
Genus: Leucocarbo
Bonaparte, 1856

8–14, see text


Phalacrocorax (in part)

The blue-eyed shags are a group of closely related cormorant taxa. All have a blue, purple or red ring around the eye (not a blue iris); other shared features are white underparts (at least in some individuals) and pink feet.[1]

Some taxonomic authorities, including the International Ornithologists' Union, place this species in the genus Leucocarbo. Others place it in the genus Phalacrocorax.

They are found around the colder parts of the Southern Hemisphere, especially near southern South America, Antarctica, and New Zealand. Many are endemic to remote islands. Determining which types are species and which are subspecies of what larger species is problematic; various recent authorities have recognized from 8 to 14 species and have placed them in a variety of genera. The common names are even more confusing, "like myriad footprints criss-crossing in the snow and about as easy to disentangle." Only one common name is given for most species here.[1]

Leucocarbo could be expanded by several American species (including the flightless cormorant and rock shag).[2] See Cormorant species in phylogenetic sequence for further information.


  1. ^ a b Nelson, J. Bryan (2006), Pelicans, Cormorants, and Their Relatives: The Pelecaniformes, Oxford University Press, U.S.A., pp. 476–511, Plate 8, ISBN 978-0-19-857727-0
  2. ^ Kennedy, M.; Gray, R.D.; Spencer, H.G. (2000). "The Phylogenetic Relationships of the Shags and Cormorants: Can Sequence Data Resolve a Disagreement between Behavior and Morphology?" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 17 (3): 345–359. doi:10.1006/mpev.2000.0840.