The Gannet is a large black and white bird, which can have a wingspan of up to two metres. There are a few unique characteristics of Gannets that make them fascinating to watch and study. They have no external nostrils, they have air sacks that lie just under the skin on their face and chest, that cushion the massive impact with the water when they land on it as they can dive from up to 30 feet and hit the water with an impact of about 100 km/hr, and they have binocular vision as their eyes are placed so far forward in their head.
You may have heard of the term 'gannet' to describe someone who eats a lot of food - well this bird is where that expression comes from, as this bird eats such a large quantity of fish, that scientists can hardly believe it sometimes.
The photograph here shows a clear example of how Australian Gannets live together in groups, or colonies, and they are colonial breeders and normally lay just one egg. It will then take five years for that bird, once it is hatched, to reach maturity.
The bird's scientific name is Morus serrator, and the numbers of this species of Gannet has been steadily increasing since 1950, although there has been some evidence of colonies disappearing and numbers of individuals beginning to decline.
Gannets, Morus serrator, in a Colony at Muriwai Beach, Muriwai, near Auckland, Waitakere, West Coast, North Island, New Zealand.
I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, aperture of f/5.6, exposure time of 1/250 sec. on ISO 100, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 300mm.
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