Naomi and Michael's picture

Shag with white feathers

Observed: 3rd March 2011 By: Naomi and MichaelNaomi and Michael’s reputation in BirdsNaomi and Michael’s reputation in BirdsNaomi and Michael’s reputation in Birds
Shag - White Feathers #2
Shag - White Feathers

One of the Shags I photographed today had very long, fine, white feathers on each side, at the back of its head. I haven't noticed such feathers before. Is it normal?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Syrphus's picture

It is a new one on me, unless

It is a new one on me, unless my memory is failing faster than I thought. The LH picture also shows a long black filament just above the white one, so perhaps there is a common factor there. Shags are elaborate enough in that plumage, and should not need any more decoration, one would think!



recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on

Naomi and Michael's picture

Yes - it almost seems to be

Yes - it almost seems to be overdoing it a bit!

JamesPDeans's picture

New to me too

I don't remember seeing this before. Now I'll be looking!

James P Deans

Carstairs's picture


Maybe the shag's equivalent of go faster stripes. New one on me too.

RoyW's picture


Certainly not something that I've seen mentioned before.

If it wasn't the same on both sides I'd suspect that it was just something that had become stuck in the plumage and had yet to be removed during preening.

DavidHowdon's picture

BWPi says "In fresh plumage,

BWPi says "In fresh plumage, numerous tiny white filoplumes between feathers of neck" which are hairlike feathers but I'm not sure that what you show would fit the definition of "tiny".

David Howdon