Northern gannet
Breeding in only a few large colonies along the North Atlantic, the northern gannet spends most of its life at sea.

One of the largest seabirds of the North Atlantic, it nests in colonies on northern sea cliffs and winters off southern coastlines.

Wingspan can reach almost 6 feet wide

Feeding behavior

It typically forages by plunging head first into water, as high as 130 feet above the surface and as deep as 72 feet. While swimming, it submerges its head to peer below the surface, then dives and swims underwater.

 

Migration pattern

It migrates offshore southward along the Atlantic Coast, some going around the southern end of Florida and along one Gulf Coast to Texas. Young gannets tend to winter farther south than adults. Many, especially adults, are present in winter offshore as north as New England. Young gannets and nonbreeders may remain south of breeding grounds in the summer.

Breeding

areas

Wingspan can reach almost 6 feet

One of the largest seabirds of the North Atlantic, it nests in colonies on northern sea cliffs and winters off southern coastlines.

Feeding behavior

It typically forages by plunging head first into water, as high as 130 feet above the surface, and as deep as 72 feet. While swimming, it submerges its head to peer below the surface, then dives and swims underwater.

 

Breeding

areas

Migration pattern

It migrates offshore southward along the Atlantic Coast, some going around the southern end of Florida and along Gulf Coast to Texas. Young gannets tend to winter farther south than adults. Many, especially adults, are present in winter far offshore as far north as New England. Young gannets and nonbreeders may remain south of breeding grounds in summer.

SOURCE: Audubon Guide to North American Birds; Cornell Lab of Ornithology

James Abundis / Globe Staff