Black-billed pied shag

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
Colin Miskelly
Posts: 694
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Black-billed pied shag

Postby Colin Miskelly » Wed May 01, 2019 3:02 pm

Kia ora

Peter Freisen has supplied the following image of a pied shag, taken at Mangawhai Estuary, and was curious about its very dark beak.

While it is dark, there are several images on NZ Birds Online of birds approaching this colouration (http://www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/pied-shag), and they are all birds with very brightly coloured facial skin.

I suspect that this is a temporary condition that some or all birds attain when they are in peak pre-nuptial colouration, but have found no mention of it in field guides and handbooks.

Has anyone else noticed this, or is anyone interested and able to monitor the colouration of a nesting pair through the early stages of breeding?

Nga mihi nui
Colin
IMG_20190430_180004.jpg
IMG_20190430_180004.jpg (213.8 KiB) Viewed 402 times
Paul Scofield
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:39 am

Re: Black-billed pied shag

Postby Paul Scofield » Thu May 02, 2019 1:24 pm

Colin Miskelly
Posts: 694
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Black-billed pied shag

Postby Colin Miskelly » Thu May 02, 2019 3:04 pm

Thanks Paul

Those are brightly coloured birds also, so again it would be useful to know if they are like this year-round

Hopefully there are Australian members of this forum who can ask the same question on relevant forums there

Regards
Colin

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