Family Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae)


Pitt Shag (Phalacrocorax featherstoni)


French: Cormoran de Featherston German: Pittscharbe Spanish: Cormorán de la Pitt

Phalacrocorax featherstoni


, 1873,

Chatham Islands


Sometimes placed in genus Stictocarbo or occasionally in Leucocarbo. In past, often considered a race of P. punctatus. Monotypic.


Chatham Is (E of New Zealand).

Descriptive notes

c. 63 cm; 645–1325 g. Breeding adult has two obvious crests of upcurved feathers, one on forecrown, other on nape; head, upper neck and back to uppertail-coverts black... read more


Displaying male noisy, including gargling “argh-argh-argh” in threat; female silent.


Marine. Breeds on rocky coasts, typically on cliffs. Forages out to sea and also in sheltered... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly small fish, with some marine invertebrates, e.g. crustaceans. Often forages among kelp and around coasts, also farther out;... read more


Apparently Aug–Dec. Forms small colonies. Nest small but well built, of ice plant (Diphyma australe) and other vegetable... read more


Sedentary; no records outwith immediate vicinity of Chatham Is.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Has tiny global range in which very small population has declined fairly rapidly since 1990s, this predicted to continue because of current threats. Found only in... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F., Kirwan, G.M. & Bonan, A. (2019). Pitt Shag (Phalacrocorax featherstoni). 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 18 August 2019).