cellis's picture


Observed: 26th August 2013 By: celliscellis’s reputation in Birdscellis’s reputation in Birdscellis’s reputation in Birds

Is it a shag or a cormerant? I usally get it wrong, but revueing my previous attempts and helpful comments I think it is a cormerant because it has a steep forhead! As usual all comments are greatfully recieved.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


ahb's picture

Shag or Cormorant

I tend to look to see if there are feathers between the eye and the gape - if so (as in this bird)it is a Shag.

The bill also looks thinner and more parallel sided on Shag.

I tend not to "see" head shapes very well so don't find them reliable - but tend to think of Shag having the steeper forehead.

Hope this helps a bit - rather than confusing things.

Alan Brampton (Benson)

cellis's picture


I'll definately try this out and see if I can improve my success rate!. Thank you!

scarpermac's picture

Shag vs Cormorant

I agree I find the two quite confusing - I know many of the apparent separating features but I seem to find them tricky to spot. I know there are also features when flying such as the thicker neck with a kink for Cormorant as opposed to thinner straighter neck of Shag. If only the Shag's breeding 'crest' was always present then I might have it sussed!! Good luck!