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Spotted Shag

Spotted Shag
Photo Information
Copyright: Steve Reekie (LordPotty) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1381 W: 144 N: 3872] (12503)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-11-26
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Birds of New Zealand [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-11-26 5:46
Viewed: 3773
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Spotted Shag

Stictocarbo punctatus

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Stictocarbo
Species: S. punctatus

The Spotted Shag or Parekareka (Phalacrocorax punctatus, also occasionally called the Spotted Cormorant) is an attractive species of the family Phalacrocoracidae found only in New Zealand. Originally classified as Phalacrocorax punctatus, is sufficiently different in appearance from typical members of the genus Phalacrocorax that it has in the past been placed in a separate genus, Stictocarbo, along with one other species, the similar Pitt Island Shag.

Compared with typical cormorants, the Spotted Shag is a light-coloured bird. Its back is brown. Its belly is pale blue-grey (often appearing white), and the white continues up the sides of the neck and face, but the throat and the top of the head are dark blue-green. In the mating season, it has an obvious double crest. There is little sexual dimorphism.
Spotted Shags feed at sea, often in substantial flocks, taking its prey from mid-water rather than the bottom. It is likely that pilchard and anchovy are important prey species.
Spotted Shags nest in colonies of 10-700 pairs, these colonies are generally found on the ledges of coastal cliffs or on rocky islets.
In the South Island, they are particularly readily observed around Banks Peninsula; there is a large nesting colony immediately south of the city of Christchurch. In Wellington Harbour there is a large colony on a a rocky outcrop known as "Shag Rock" just off the south-west end of Matiu/Somes Island.
On the West Coast there are several colonies along the coast north of Greymouth.

I photographed this one today on the rocks alongside the Blaketown wharf,where there were perhaps 100 or so,attracted by an unusual number of small fish in the Grey River mouth.

I was able to get very close to the colony,and to a nearby group of Terns,and I managed to get well over 100 good photographs .... so expect one or two Terns and Shags in the near future.


marhowie, rousettus, haraprasan, sandpiper2, JORAPAVI has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To joey: worshop imageLordPotty 2 11-26 07:09
To Mana: your workshopLordPotty 1 11-26 07:01
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Steve,
nice shot of this Shag.
+++ Once again the sea BG is fantastic!
Great composition and the eye-level POV works really well.
Nice lighting and colours.
--- Focus is slightly soft so I did a workshop to clean that up... I hope you don't mind!
Great shot nevertheless.
Well done mate,

Hello Steve,

Very nice capture from this Spotted Shag. Beautiful colours. Specially around the beak. The white line on his body gives a good indication of how big the bird is. The picture is sharp and gives a lot of fine details on the feathers. Your POV and BG are good. Interesting notes. Regards and TFS BOB

Hi Steve,
Just marking this wonderful post from you and will come back with a proper critique in a while.

* Posting a workshop, hope you don't mind. Please let me know your comments.

Great exposure and natural colors Steve..
Well composed frame and you "shagged" some good DOF, and details..This "spotted" version of shag's a handsome looking guy :)
Well done,

Hi Steve,
you start again birds with a very nice shot of beautiful coloured shag. POV, composition, colors, lighting and focus very nice. Notes everytime good and informative. thanks a lot. best wishes

Namastay Steve,
A beautiful capture of this shag bird. Excellent details and clarity with well composed POV. Very nice notes. Thanks a lot for sharing.


Hi Steve

Great looking cormorant, very attractive.
Well captured with a fine composition.
Like the say the focus is a bit soft around the head, but not too bad. An impressive addition to your gallery.


Hi Steve.
Your crop has filled the frame, well done not to loose detail and image quality as some crops do and he really stands out beautifully against the sea in the BG. In this I would agree that it is better left slightly soft than trying to sharpen any more.
Nice light to show up all his colour and detail.

Hola Steve,
Preciosa composición de esta bonita especie, buena definición con luz y fondo muy agradables, saludos
José Ramón

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