The largest of New Zealand’s pink-footed shags, the king shag is found only in the outer Marlborough Sounds, although it was once much more widespread. During the early phase of breeding the eye ring is a striking blue and the caruncles (skin above the bill) are orange. In this bird they are starting to fade. The large chicks in the background are covered in grey down, which will be replaced with feathers. Like other shags, their first lot of feathers will be brown, not black.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by C. D. Roderick
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