Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

European Shag

Phalacrocorax aristotelis


Shags are goose-sized dark long-necked birds similar to cormorants but smaller and generally slimmer with a characteristic steep forehead. In the breeding season adults develop a dark glossy green plumage and prominent recurved crest on the front of their head.


In the UK they breed on coastal sites, mainly in the north and west, and over half their population is found at fewer than 10 sites, making them an Amber List species. Shags usually stay within 100-200km of their breeding grounds. During the breeding season at their large Scottish colonies on Orkney, Shetland, the Inner Hebrides and the Firth of Forth. Elsewhere they can be seen commonly around the coasts of Wales and South West England (especially Devon and Cornwall).

1 Species ID Suggestions

Liam 12 years ago
European Shag
Phalacrocorax aristotelis European Shag

Sign in to suggest organism ID


ColinMacleod 12 years ago

Thanks for the ID, Liam.

ColinMacleod 12 years ago

Yes, the beak seems to be black, but there's a yellow patch under the eye. Not sure about the swan, Joshua - this one was diving for fish in a very un-swanlike way!

MaryEvans2 12 years ago

Is that a yellow marking(patch) under its eye?

Joshuab123 12 years ago

it is a raer black swan

ColinMacleod 12 years ago

I'm pretty sure this is a cormorant or a shag, but that's all I've got...

Spotted by

Scotland, United Kingdom

Spotted on Mar 20, 2012
Submitted on Apr 4, 2012

Spotted for Mission

Related Spottings

Double-Crested Cormorant Neotropic Cormorant Brandt's cormorant Cormorant

Nearby Spottings

Eurasian Oystercatcher European Robin Spotting Small tortoiseshell
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team