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Pied Shag

Pied Shag
Photo Information
Copyright: Pam Russell (coasties) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3749 W: 483 N: 8155] (28054)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-02-02
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM, Digital RAW 100, Hoya UV 77mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-02-06 3:29
Viewed: 3514
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Shags are long-necked aquatic birds with hooked beaks, long, stiff, wedge-shaped tails, and webbed feet. Eight species (subdivided into 14 races) are found in and about New Zealand. Some species inhabit both fresh and salt water; others are entirely marine, and these two major groups may be distinguished from each other in life by the colour of their feet – those of the purely marine shags are pink or yellow; the others have feet which are black. Some species, such as the black shag, are widely distributed; others (especially some of the purely marine forms) are found only on particular off-shore islands. The name cormorant is rarely used in New Zealand. Identification of the various shags is often made difficult for the amateur because of strong superficial similarities and changes in plumage that occur with age and season. Sexes look alike. The young are naked when hatched, and immature birds are usually brownish and often nearly white underneath. Adults of most species are usually black with a green or purple gloss and sometimes white below. About the breeding season ornamental crests, tufts, or plumes appear and vivid face colours may develop. Shags are community nesters – freshwater species build untidy nests in trees; marine species nest on cliff ledges, low bushes, or even on the ground. Though most breeding occurs in the spring, it may take place at other seasons. A characteristic habit of shags after fishing is the “hanging out” of their wings to dry.

Probably the most familiar and widely distributed shags in New Zealand are the black (Phalacrocorax carbo), white-throated (P. melanoleucos), and pied (P. varius) of shore and inland waters, and the beautiful spotted shag (P. punctatus), of rocky coasts.

Their diet consists primarily of fish of various kinds and crustaceans, and although shags are regarded with disfavour by fishermen, especially trout fishermen, there is no doubt at all that they do no damage whatsoever to marine or estuarinc fisheries in New Zealand. Only in special circumstances is one single species – the black shag -likely to vie with man as a predator of trout, and this is probably because the sportsman is trying to maintain high fish numbers in waters not suitable for such artificially dense populations; black shags then arrive and feed on the population that exceeds the carrying capacity of the water.

Warning: This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand.

The above obtained from http://www.teara.govt.nz/1966/S/Shags/Shags/en


Camera: Canon 20D
Time of day: 9:47 a.m.
Date: 2nd January 2006
Weather conditions: Clear
Lens: Canon 100-400mm L IS
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/320
F-Stop: F/6.3
Focal Length: 150mm
ISO: 100
Original file type: Digital Raw

Demetrio, Janice, fiyo, hummingbird24, carper, wallhalla15, PDP, loot, metcher, blue-velvet29 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Wow fantastic detail and very good close up, these never stay still long enough for me or I never get the chance to get so close. Excellent work here Well done!


Good feather detail, crisp and sharp, and a pretty good pose from the model.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-02-06 4:21]

Great pose Pam, you caught him well on the post. He's so sleek and perfectly built for the water, and you show him off excellently. TFS

Great shot of this guy Pam, especially on an obviously overcast day.
Plumage details are well reproduced and compositionis well placed.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2006-02-06 8:29]

Hello Pam,
Excellent shot.
Lovely detail and colours,nice composition.
Nice work,very well done.

hi pam
tres beau cliché,les details sont tres bon sur les plumes.bon POV.

Wow, beautiful clear shot, love the detail and exposure, nice work!


Beautiful details and pose on this wonderful shag.

Exposure, POV and composition are well managed in what I perceive as a low light situation.

Nice work, thank you Pam!

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-02-06 10:37]

It's a nice one Pam,
Just a perfect shot, I like it a lot, the fantastic composition, the details and the good pov in it, very nice to look at, good job.
gr. jaap

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-02-06 11:35]

Looks almost like a statue on a pedestal. Ecxellent in details, good POV. Great composition and presentation.

Hello Pam,
another fine capture. Excellent composition, colours and POV. As always, a great note too. Great work, very well done. Thank you.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-02-07 17:18]

Hello Pam, lovely shot. Great details and a very ncie composition. Very well done.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-02-07 21:20]

Hi Pam
A perfect composition with this profile of a Shag. The subject is so well exposed leaving no fall off areas between the whites and blacks. All the feathers have perfect detail. DOF with the water as BG was done excellently. Linked with all that is a great note to round of a very good technical and pleasing photo.
Well done and TFS.

Hi, Pam.
Excellent pose and composition. Good details and sharpness. Nice shot.

Hi Pam!
Perfect photo! Great colors, frame, composition, light, DOF. Great work.
TFS ;-)

He looks suspiciously similar to a cormorant but I suspect Austin Powers named this specie. That is just too funny! Awesome pic though!

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