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European Shag

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About the European Shag

Also known as: Common Shag

The European Shag or Common Shag is a type of cormorant that breeds on rocky coats in western and southern Europe, southwest Asia and northern Africa. In Britain it is known as just the Shag.

It is one of the deepest divers in the cormorant family, able to dive to depths of up to 150 feet (45 meters). They eat a wide range of fish, with their favorite meal being the sand eel.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 09 December 2008
Scientific Name Phalacrocorax aristotelis
  • Pelecaniformes
  • Phalacrocoracidae
  • Phalacrocorax
  • P. aristotelis
Birdorable Family Waterbirds
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 28 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
27 to 30 inches
37 to 43 inches
Range West Europe East Europe North Europe South Europe West Asia North Africa

International Names

  • Kormorán (Czech)
  • Topskarv (Danish)
  • Kuifaalscholver (Dutch)
  • Karimetso (Finnish)
  • Cormoran Huppé (French)
  • Krähenscharbe (German)
  • Marangone dal Ciuffo (Italian)
  • ヨアロッパヒメウ (Yo-roppahimeu) (Japanese)
  • Toppskarv (Norwegian)
  • Kormoran Zzubaty (Polish)
  • Баклан хохлатый (Russian)
  • Cormor´n Moñudo (Spanish)
  • Toppskarv (Swedish)

Related articles

Introducing The Shag

Introducing The Shag

Our 154th Birdorable bird and the answer to the last Spot the Birdorable is the European Shag. This cute cormorant can be found across Europe, northern Africa and south Asia. Shags are ... more