The shag is a medium-sized seabird that is similar to a cormorant but is smaller, and with a slimmer bill, more rounded head, and a thinner neck. It has green-black plumage with a bright yellow gape and chin and in breeding season, a crest on its head that curves forward.
It often stands with spread wings held at a straightish angle and can be spotted in large, loose flocks on the sea. It flies quickly and low over the water with it neck extended and short wings set back.
The shag is rarely seen inland and feeds at sea, diving for fish to depths of up to 45 m. Its call is a series of grunts and will emit a cackling alarm call when it’s at the nest.
Shags can be seen all around UK coasts. In breeding season look out for them on cliffs, rocky ledges, and small caves.