Pair of Shags Preening

Pair of Shags Preening (Enlarge)

Photographed on the Farne Islands, Northumberland, UK, in June 2008.

The European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), also known as the common shag, is a species of cormorant. The European shag dives deeper than most cormorants, sometimes to at least 45 meters. It breeds in western and southern Europe, southwest Asia and north Africa. 25% of the world's population can be found in the Cíes Islands. The birds here are the Phalacrocorax aristotelis aristotelis subspecies.