Male Gannet


Scientific name: Morus bassanus

Did you know: The Gannet, a master of the skies and seas, can dive from heights of 30 metres at speeds up to 60 mph, plunging into the ocean to catch its prey. It’s a true spectacle of nature!

What Do Gannets Look Like? (How to Identify Them)

Gannets are large seabirds, predominantly white with black wingtips. Their long neck, pointed beak, and elongated tail and wings make them distinctive. 

These birds glide gracefully over the water, often in small groups, and are known for their dramatic plunge-diving behaviour.

Differences Between Male And Female Gannets

Male and female Gannets look similar, with both sporting a bright white plumage, black-tipped wings, and a yellowish head. However, males are slightly larger than females, with a longer beak and wingspan.

What Do Gannets Eat?

Gannets feed primarily on fish, diving from great heights to catch their prey underwater. They are equipped with specialised adaptations like internal nostrils and air sacs under the skin to cushion the impact with the water.

Where Do Gannets Live? (Including Migration Info)

Gannets breed in significant numbers in a few locations, primarily in Scotland, including the Shetland Isles. 

They are migratory, travelling great distances across the North Atlantic. After the breeding season, many Gannets migrate south to the Bay of Biscay or further to the coasts of West Africa.

Bird Calls & Songs (The Unique Voices of Gannets)

Gannets are known for their loud and raucous calls, especially in breeding colonies. Their typical call is a repeated “Arrrr Arrrr Arrrr” sound, used for various social interactions. They also emit a softer, raven-like call when at sea.

Fun Gannet Facts (Kid Friendly)

  • Gannets can dive from 30 metres high and reach speeds of 60 mph.
  • They have air sacs under their skin, like bubble wrap, to protect them when they hit the water.
  • Gannets have no external nostrils; they are inside their mouths.
  • Their eyes are positioned for binocular vision, helping them judge distances accurately.
  • Gannets are colonial breeders, usually laying one chalky-blue egg.
  • Young Gannets are completely black and take 5 years to get their white adult plumage.

Facts About The Gannet

Diet: Fish.
Bird Family: Boobies and gannets
Length: 87-100cm
Wingspan: 165-180cm
Weight: 2,400-3,600g
Scientific Name: Morus bassanus

The Gannet Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Gannet Images

Male Gannet Male
Female Gannet Female
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