Thursday, 5 September 2013

115. European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

The European Shag is similar in appearance to the Great Cormorant although it is slightly smaller; however it can sometimes be difficult to tell them apart especially in flight. Shags have a slimmer neck and bill, and smaller head with a peaked forehead compared to the Cormorant's gently sloping forehead; they usually fly close to the water holding their neck straight whereas the Cormorant's sags slightly, and their outer wings appear shorter and slightly more rounded. In the breeding season they have a funky crest too! Unlike Great Cormorants, European Shags are restricted to coastal areas where they breed on rocky cliffs and islands around the coasts of northwest Europe, Arctic Russia, parts of the Mediterranean and north Africa.

European Shag, ©Photo Nature, via Flickr Creative Commons.
European Shag sketch.
Mmmm I'm quite pleased with this one! Phalacrocorax sure are a charismatic bunch.

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