Belongs to: birds

Gannet Sula bassana

BoCC Amber list


Best time to see: early Jan to end Dec

Key facts

Large black and white seabird, often seen passing offshore in summer/autumn

About two-thirds of the world's gannets nest on rocky islands off the British coast(none of them in Essex)

Disperse off-shore in winter returning to their gannetries in March/April to breed

Recognition

Large black and white bird with black wingtips and yellowish hue to head; cigar-shaped in flight; 90 cm

Flies low over water on stiff wings, before rising with short flaps and starting another glide

Catches fish by diving steeply into the sea from a great height, with wings folded back to form an arrow shape

Lifecycle

Nest is a mound of seaweed on a cliff ledge

One brood of 1 white egg, April–June

  • Main photo

Photo © Leslie Borg