Australasian Gannet

Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
84cm
Maximum Size: 
95cm
Average size: 
90cm
Breeding season: 
October to November
Incubation: 
44 days
Nestling Period: 
100 days
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
104
What does it look like?
Description: 

The male and female Australasian Gannet are similar in plumage. Most of the body is white, with dark tips on the major wing feathers and the inner tail feathers. The head is buff-yellow and the bill pale blue-grey with striking black borders to the bill sheaths. In immature birds, the head and upperparts are mostly brown with scattered amounts of white spotting. Small flocks are sometimes seen soaring above the ocean, and an individual bird will suddenly fold its wings back and dive spectacularly into the water.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

Australasian Gannets are found throughout southern and south-eastern Australia, to New Zealand.

Habitat: 

Australasian Gannets are seabirds and are a familiar sight off the coast

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Australasian Gannets are expert fishers. Birds soar 10 m or more above the surface of the water, herding fish into dense shoals, then fold their wings back and dive into the water to catch their prey. The fish are grasped with the aid of small backward-pointing serrations along the edges of the bill. A bird only stays under the water for about ten seconds, but the fish is normally swallowed before the bird reaches the surface.

Breeding: 

In Australia, the Australasian Gannet breeds in dense colonies on islands off Victoria and Tasmania. Breeding colonies are also found off the coast of New Zealand, mostly off the North Island. The young do not reach breeding maturity until about six or seven years old.

Subscribe to me on YouTube