Family Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)


Auckland Shag (Leucocarbo colensoi)


French: Cormoran des Auckland German: Aucklandscharbe Spanish: Cormorán de las Auckland

Phalacrocorax colensoi


, 1888,

Auckland Islands


Sometimes placed in Phalacrocorax or Euleucocarbo, but classification here follows results of a comprehensive molecular phylogeny for the entire family#R. In past, often considered a race of L. campbelli (which see). Monotypic.


Restricted to Auckland Is (S of New Zealand), breeding at Auckland, Enderby, Rose, Ewing and Adams.

Descriptive notes

63 cm; c. 2000 g; wingspan 105 cm. Adult has rather long crest on crown, head and upperparts black with bluish gloss, greener on head, can have a few scattered hair-like... read more


Male advertises with rough barking “borr” or “orr-orrgh”, threatens with “erh-erh-erh”; various... read more


Marine. Forages equally in open sea or in sheltered coastal waters, including bays or inlets.... read more

Food and feeding

Little known. Small octopus (Octopus sp.) accounted for 57% of prey by number and 68% of prey by wet mass in 23 regurgitated... read more


Laying Nov–Feb. Forms small or large monospecific colonies. Nest mainly of tussock grass, also seaweed, twigs, peat and debris,... read more


Sedentary. A juvenile first seen at Snares Is (N of Auckland Group) in Jul 1994 had gained adult... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted to Auckland Is and adjacent waters. Breeding colonies exist on islands of Auckland, Enderby, Rose, Ewing and Adams. According to BirdLife, estimated... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Auckland Shag (Leucocarbo colensoi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 June 2019).