Shags are a common sight all around the coasts of the Kaikoura peninsula and can be commonly spotted on a tour with Seal kayak Kaikoura.

The three most common species are the Pied shag (pictured), little shag and spotted shag.

  • Pied shags are large birds weighing up to 2kgs
  • They nest in mostly coastal environments and can be spotted in the South Bay reserve in the Macrocarpa trees
  • Maori name for the pied shag is Karuhiruhi
  • over 7 species can be found in Kaikoura of shag

Many people mistake these birds as penguins on visits to Kaikoura as they tuck their heads into their bodies, and their black and white colouring gives off the distinct look of a penguin. This is until they decide to fly off and land in trees, giving them their colloquial name "tree penguins".

More Kaikōura Wildlife

Learn more about the wildlife you'll see on one of our Seal Kayak Kaikoura tours.

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