|Gannet (Moros bassanus)|
where I saw quite an array of birds that I hadn't done a blog on yet. I have done all of them apart from one which happens to be a bird of which I have taken a picture and sent it to a wildlife photography competition. It's this first photo, wish me luck! From the title, pictures and previous posts, you'll know that I am talking about Gannets.
So, here are the facts:
- They are resident all over the Oceans that surround the UK and in places actually on the coast too. You can see them in the Summer on the coast somewhere in every UK country apart from Northern Ireland.
|Beak full of grass ready to line the nest|
- They are an Amber Status bird as they are a localised breeding population. There are 220,000 nests but they nest very close together.
- Their scientific name is actually quite insulting: Moros (Gr) = silly and Bassanus is named after Bass Rock in Scotland. Silly Bass Rock?! Why are they silly I ask you!
- They are quite large birds being 94cm in length and having a 172cm wingspan! Both Male and Female birds weigh 3kg.
- They are incredible fishers. They jump from heights between 10 and 40m and sometimes reaching speeds of 100 km per hour just to catch fish of sizes up to 30cm!
|A group gathered to grass pull|
- The way they achieve this without harming themselves is that they have evolved an extensive amount of air-sacs below the skin and between the muscles to cushion the impact. Their wings also fold right back so not only are they aerodynamic when they enter the water, they also don`t hurt themselves.
- They have one of the top 3 typical lifespans that I have ever covered in a post (bird). 17 years! The oldest Gannet doubles it at more than 37 years, 4 months and 16 days.
- They do a special thing for their nest which I was lucky enough to see called pulling grass which involves (you guessed it), pulling grass. They do this to line their nest to give the baby bird a comfy home.
- There is a lot of folklore about sea birds and East Anglian fishermen apparently thought that the souls of the drowned migrated to Gannets. I found a longer quite sweet story here about how the Gannet came into existance.
Here are some links to some more information:
Hope you enjoyed,