Northern Gannet

Morus bassanus

Order

PELECANIFORMES

Family

Booby and Gannets (Sulidae)

Code 4

NOGA

Code 6

MORBAS

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Northern Gannet has a large range, estimated globally at 50,000 to 100,000 square kilometers. Native to Europe and North America, this bird prefers neritic, oceanic, or coastal ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 530,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Northern Gannet is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Northern Gannet: Very large seabird. White overall with black primaries and long pointed wings. Light yellow wash on crown of head extending down nape may be visible. Bill, legs, and feet are gray. Dives for fish and squid. Alternates rapid wing beats with short glides. Soars to great heights.


Range and Habitat

Northern Gannet: Pelagic species found along the Atlantic coast of North America. Often seen from shore, it also may be found far from shore in the open ocean. Breeds on the coasts of extreme north eastern Canada. Winters from Maine to just south of the Texas-Mexico border along Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"grrah, grrah, grrah", "grrrrrou"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Northern Gannet has also been called solan, solan goose, and solant bird.
  • 68% of the world population breeds around the coasts of Great Britain, with the largest colonies on the Bass Rock (whence the species' Latin name) and Boreray, St Kilda.
  • A group of gannets has many collective nouns, including a "company", "gannetry", "newspaper syndicate", and "plunging" of gannets.
  • Inhabitants of the town of Ness of the Isle of Lewis are allowed to kill up to 2,000 gannets (locally known as guga) annually to serve as a traditional local delicacy - the taste is described as fishy.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Northern Gannet

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Ashli Maruster

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
PrimariesX
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
PelagicX
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X