Shag: the lesser cormorant | Nature Notes from Dorset

I am often asked what the difference is between a cormorant and a shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and the simple answer is that there are many differences when you see them close up and side by side! From a distance, however, they are much harder to separate, the shag being a bit smaller and having darker colouring all over.
However, the best guide, and a pretty reliable one too, is to say cormorants like inland waters (rivers and large lakes) and sandy areas off shore 



Read more: Shag: the lesser cormorant | Nature Notes from Dorset

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