on 10th March 2013

“On 8th January 2013, a small flock of Pied Shags (Phalacrocorax varius, Maori name: Karuhiruhi) had gathered along the shore of a freshwater inlet near the coast of Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand (above).

“A number of them were taking turns to have their bath in the clean, cool waters. As they cruised calmly on the water’s surface, they would immerse their heads underwater and shuffle their wings rapidly, creating multiple splashes (above).

“When the shag was content with all the swimming and splashing around, it would adopt a rather upright posture and fling its wings forward forcefully (above), in order to expel excess water, before returning to shore.

“A brief video clip of this bathing behaviour (slow motion) may be previewed above.

“Once ashore, the shag adopts its sunbathing posture, with wings well spread out (above). Shortly after, it often preens itself, regularly extracting oil from the preen gland at the base of its tail. As summer temperatures rise at mid-noon, some shags may be observed to begin panting in attempts to keep themselves cool, especially when they are sitting on sun-baked stones!

“A brief video clip of the shags on the shore may be previewed above.”

Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
17th February 2013

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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