Kawaupaka/Little Pied Shag Microcarbo melanoleucos
Native. Relict (much reduced but stable population)
This is the most common of the five species of cormorants recorded in the Estuary, and is most frequently seen perched on both man-made and natural structures. They will also rest on land but this is not favoured as difficulty is experienced when taking off.
Diet consists of fish, including tuna (eels) and crustaceans but will also consume frogs and invertebrates in brackish water. They hunt by diving and can stay submerged for up to twenty seconds at a time often surfacing some distance away.
At the onset of the breeding season both sexes develop a crest.
Nests are built in tree-top colonies, usually over-hanging water and are bulky structures in which up to five eggs are laid.
Also observed in the area is the Māpunga/Great Cormorant:(Phalacrocorax carbo) which is a much large, all black bird. This is a cosmopolitan species that occurs in many parts of the world.