Living Bird Magazine
Northern GannetMorus bassanus
- ORDER: Suliformes
- FAMILY: Sulidae
Breeding in only a few large colonies along the North Atlantic, the Northern Gannet spends most of its life at sea. Flocks engage in spectacular bouts of plunge-diving for fish, with hundreds of birds diving into the ocean from heights of up to 40 meters (130 feet).More ID Info
- Alcatraz Atlántico (Spanish)
- Fou de Bassan (French)
- Cool Facts
- Most plunge-dives are relatively shallow, but the Northern Gannet can dive as deep as 22 meters (72 feet). It uses its wings and feet to swim deeper in pursuit of fish.
- In North America, the Northern Gannet breeds in only six well established colonies: three in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec, and three in the North Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland. In the eastern North Atlantic, it is distributed in 32 colonies from the coast of Brittany in France northward to Norway.
- The oldest recorded Northern Gannet was at least 26 years, 1 month old when it was found in Quebec.