Macquarie Shag

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The Macquarie Shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps purpurascens ), Macquarie Island Shag or Macquarie Island Cormorant, is a marine cormorant native to Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean, about halfway between Australia and Antarctica.


The Macquarie Shag is one of the blue-eyed shags, sometimes placed in the genera Leucocarbo or Notocarbo, and a subspecies of the Imperial Shag. It is sometimes considered to be a full species.

Distribution and habitat

The Macquarie Shag is restricted to subantarctic Macquarie Island and the nearby Bishop and Clerk Islets, part of the Macquarie group, 33 km to the south. Apart from breeding and roosting, its habitat is marine.


The Macquarie Shag has largely black upperparts and white underparts. The upper cheeks and ear-coverts are black; there are white bars on the wings, a black, recurved crest over the forehead, and pink feet. A breeding adult has a pair of orange caruncles above the base of the bill in front of the eyes, orange-brown facial skin at the base of the lower mandible, as well as blue eye-rings. It is about 75 cm in length, with a wingspan of 110 cm and a weight of 2.5–3.5 kg.


Macquarie Shags are gregarious, roosting in...
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