Shag family set up house in garden

The family of little shags in a tree at the garden. Photos by Stephen Jaquiery.
The family of little shags in a tree at the garden. Photos by Stephen Jaquiery.
A little shag takes a fish from the duck pond at the Dunedin Botanic Garden.
A little shag takes a fish from the duck pond at the Dunedin Botanic Garden.

A pair of little shags beside the Dunedin Botanic Garden duck pond have been attracting plenty of interest.

They have been bringing up their family in a hawthorn tree for several months.

Shortly after they arrived, the little shags produced two chicks, which were now nearing adult size, plant collection curator Stephen Bishop said.

Collections supervisor Barbara Wheeler said the birds had been the centre of much attention.

"Certainly, I've seen a lot of photographers with rather long lenses hanging around, and ornithologists are interested, and as soon as they tweet something, more people come along.

"They [the birds] are kind of cool because you wouldn't normally see a couple of shags nest in the botanic garden, so far from the sea."

The shags can live in freshwater as well as at sea, and are common around freshwater wetlands, estuaries and the coast.

 

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