Our Little Shags, or Kawau paka, are the smallest of our Shags or Cormorants. They are most often seen alone, sitting on a rock on the edge of the estuary or fishing near the gulls in the river, or on Shag log at the Kohaihai river mouth, or even on a fence post in the  middle of a paddock.   They are quite shy but if you are quiet and don't approach them directly they may tolerate your presence for a short period of time. They seem to be quite stubborn and determined little birds and will not give up a good fishing spot or sunbathing spot for anyone, not human nor larger Shag nor even a group of larger Shags. An interesting trait of Little Shags are their colour variations, always black and white but sometimes just their face/cheeks, sometimes their whole face, sometimes their whole chest, sometimes all black. Literature says that different morphs are more common in some areas than others, here in Karamea either or seem to be equally likely. 

These photos below are of a nest on the Kohaihai river, this was a total thrill to find and so exciting to see these weird little baby aliens from juveniles to adults. 

 

As they got older they still retained their full black plummage, making them look like a different species..... at what stage they gained white facial or body plumage, I am still to observe. 

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