Gannets are the seabirds which belong to Sulidae family. They are closely related to boobies. Gannets are large with white and black color. The gannets have long bills and long pointed angular wings.
Gannets flies high above the sea and hunt for its food i.e. fish. Gannets catch their prey by a vertical dive from a height in the sea. It can dive high from the height of 30 m, with the speed of 100 km/h. Its physical structure helps them to do this. Gannets have air sacs under their skin of face and chest, which acts like cushion under water. It doesn't have external nostrils. Also their eye positions (which are positioned far enough forward on their face) give them a binocular vision, which allows them to judge distances accurately.
Gannets are colonial but are territorial. In the North Atlantic, Northern gannets are found as the largest seabirds with 2 metres of wingspan. Its two other species are found in the temperate seas around southern Africa and southern Australia and New Zealand.
Gannets are colonial breeders. It breeds a chalky blue egg on islands and coasts. A Gannet become mature in five years. In initial year the bird looks completely black, but in the subsequent years it shows increasing amounts of white. Gannets are found in the world in there different species, which are given below:
Northern gannets are found mainly in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Capegannets are found in South Africa and Australasian gannets are found in Tasmania and New Zealand. Despite of their residential areas, all the gannet species look like same. They have white body with black wing tips, yellow head and their wings are long and pointed.
- Northern Gannets
- Cape Gannets
- Australasian Gannets
Northern gannets are mainly found in United Kingdom. About two third of its world's population is found in United Kingdom. In UK they mainly live in the Shetland Isles and in Scotland. The biggest population of Northern gannets is found in the Scottish islands of St Kilda. It itself holds the 20% of world's population. However, rest of its world's population can be found in Ireland, Canada, Faroe Islands and Iceland, Norway, the Channel Islands and in France with small numbers.
Gannets eating capacity is large. It eats fish in large quantities. Gannets are migratory birds. When the temperature goes low, Northern gannets leave the Atlantic homes and move to Mediterranean Sea.