The northern gannet is native to the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. It has a mainly white streamlined body with a long neck, long and slender wings. It is considered to be a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
About Northern gannet in brief
The northern gannet is native to the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. It has a mainly white streamlined body with a long neck, long and slender wings. Nesting takes place in colonies on both sides of the North Atlantic. It is considered to be a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It undertakes seasonal migrations and hunts for the fish that form the bulk of its diet by high-speed dives into the sea. The species was previously hunted for food in parts of its range, and the traditional practice still continues in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and the Faroe Islands. It was one of the many species originally described by the Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in the landmark 1758 10th edition of his Systema Naturae. The Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner named it Anser bassanus or scoticus in the 16th century, noting that the Scots called it solendguse. Charles Lucian Bonaparte described the American populations as Sula americana in 1838, though the basis for distinguishing them from the European species was unclear and the name is now considered a synonym. The specific name bassanus is from the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth. It is also known as the NorthAtlantic Gannet or North Atlantic goose. The literal meaning is ‘cleft stick’ referring to the appearance of the conspicuous black wing tips on a northern gANNet perched perched on a cliff. Young birds have been called the White foule or boparliament or grebe or great crested grebe, but the English writer Richard Hakluyt used the term in 1600 to refer to the great crebe or poached goose.
The species has been designated as the official common name for the species by the International Ornithologists’ Union. The breeding range has extended northward and eastward, with colonies being established on Russia’s Kola Peninsula in 1995 and Bear Island, southernmost island of Svalbard, in 2011. The adult northern gannonet is 87–100 cm long with a 170–180 cm wingspan. The long pointed bill is blue-grey, contrasting with black bare skin around the mouth and eyes. Juveniles are mostly grey-brown, becoming increasingly white in the five years it takes them to reach maturity. The bird is usually found on islands with cliffs, from which the birds can more easily launch into the air. It can be found in Scotland, Grassholm in Wales, and Bonaventure Island off the coast of Quebec, and elsewhere in Europe and North America. In the U.S. it is found in New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New England and the mid-Atlantic states, as well as the Canadian mid- Atlantic states and the Canadian island of Newfoundland and Labrador. The birds are often mistaken for gannets or boobies by birdwatchers. The name ganet is derived from Old English ganot, meaning’strong or masculine’, which is ultimately from the same Old Germanic root as gander.