Shags are large, dark waterbirds, a little bit smaller than Cormorants. They feed on fish, which they catch with their long, hook-tipped bills while swimming underwater. Shags nest on cliffs around our coasts but are very rarely seen inland. They can often be spotted perched with their wings held stretched out to dry their feathers off which are not waterproof.
How to identify
Smaller than a Cormorant, a Shag has dark green, shiny plumage, a crest and a narrower bill with a yellow gape.
Where to find it
Found on rocky shores all around our coasts.
When to find it
How can people help
The survival of our seabirds is threatened by the pollution and degradation of our marine and coastal habitats. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.