How to identifyShags are dark, goose-sized birds with long necks. They look similar to Cormorants but are smaller and slimmer with a characteristic steep forehead. In the breeding season, adults develop a dark glossy green plumage and prominent recurved crest on the front of their head.
In the UK, they breed on coastal sites – mainly in the north and west – and more than half of their population is found at less than 10 sites, making them a Red List species. Shags usually stay within 100-200km of their breeding grounds.
* This map is intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.