Give me a hug
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Pair of Gannets in RSPB Bempton Cliffs nature reserve|
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gannets are seabirds in the family Sulidae, closely related to the boobies.
The gannets are large black and white birds, with long pointed wings and long bills. Northern gannets are the largest seabirds in the North Atlantic, with a wingspan of up to 2 meters. The other two species occur in the temperate seas around southern Africa and southern Australia and New Zealand.
Gannets hunt fish by diving from a height into the sea and pursuing their prey underwater. Gannets have a number of adaptations which enable them to do this:
• they have no external nostrils;
• they have air sacs in their face and chest under their skin which act like bubble-wrap, cushioning the impact with the water;
• their eyes are positioned far enough forward on their face to give them binocular vision, allowing them to judge distances accurately.
Gannets can dive from a height of 30 m, achieving speeds of 100 km/h as they strike the water, enabling them to catch fish much deeper than most airborne birds.
The gannet's supposed capacity for eating large quantities of fish has led to "gannet" becoming a disapproving description of somebody who eats excessively, similar to "glutton".
Mating and nesting
Gannets are colonial breeders on islands and coasts, which normally lay one chalky blue egg. It takes five years for gannets to reach maturity. First-year birds are completely black, and subsequent sub-adult plumages show increasing amounts of white.
The most important nesting ground for Northern gannets is the United Kingdom with about two thirds of the world's population. These live mainly in Scotland. The rest of the world's population is divided between Canada, Ireland, Faroe Islands and Iceland, with small numbers in France (they are often seen in the Bay of Biscay), the Channel Islands and Norway. The biggest Northern gannet colony is in the Scottish islands of St Kilda; this colony alone comprises 20% of the entire world's population. Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth is also famous for its large gannet population.
Systematics and evolution
The three gannet species are now usually placed in the genus Morus, Abbott's Booby in Papasula, and the remaining boobies in Sula, but some authorities believe that all nine sulid species should be considered congeneric, in Sula. At one time, the gannets were considered to be a single species.
• Northern Gannet, (also known as "Solan Goose"), Morus bassanus
• Cape Gannet, Morus capensis
• Australasian Gannet, Morus serrator
Most fossil gannets are from the Late Miocene or Pliocene, a time when the diversity of seabirds in general was much higher than today. It is not completely clear what caused the decline in species at the end of the Pleistocene; increased competition due to the spread of marine mammals and/or supernova activity which led to mass extinctions of marine life are usually assumed to have played a role.
The genus Morus is much better documented in the fossil record than Sula, though the latter is more numerous today. The reasons are not clear; it might be that boobies were better-adapted or simply "lucky" to occur in the right places for dealing with the challenges of the Late Pliocene ecological change, or it could be that many more fossil boobies still await discovery. Notably, gannets are today restricted to temperate oceans while boobies are also found in tropical waters, whereas several of the prehistoric gannet species had a more equatorial distribution than their congeners of today.
Argus, jaycee, bartove, Adanac, haraprasan, Dan, degani, Tamrock, SueThomson has marked this note useful
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good shot and lovely embrace!!
- [2008-03-30 8:41]
This is an excellent image that I think deserves more attention. The sharpness is great and I like the composition and pose of this pair of gannets against a fine blue sky.
Thanks for sharing this fine capture,
- [2008-03-30 8:47]
Great timing to capture this wonderful moment! They certainly are hugging. The Gannets are lovely - the face is magnificent with excellent colors and details. I love it!!
- [2008-03-30 9:33]
this is very nice composition.
very good sharp
excellent image with nice composition.
very good sharp
- [2008-03-30 19:54]
Delightful image of this pair of gannets. Quite often they are very affectionate in the postings I see. Their eyes are always what draws me in as these do.
Superb camera work with great results, thank you.
A nice capture of this pair of gannets. Excellent sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.
- [2008-03-31 5:33]
excelent this pair of lovers. Your photo is full of "tandresse". Great shot!
- [2008-04-02 0:34]
this is a beautiful picture, it is very well composed and has a beautiful saturation of the colours but most of all gives us a beautiful feeling of joy, brava
this ones are very fine birds!
nice situation in this fine pic
This is my favourite shot in your gallery. Great sharpness, colour and just a lovely captured moment.
I paged through your Gallery and I like very much this documentary!
Focus and depth of field are impeccable. The colours are natural and the contrast well controlled.
It is a pity, that the bird in the front moved slightly it's beak.
Well, these are the hazards of Wildlife Photography...
I would be interested to hear how far / below you were positioned from the nest.
The steep angle of view, offering the (rather unusual) azure sky presents a perfect view of the eye.
It is always a pleasure to observe how well seabirds look after their plumage (for obvious reasons), whereas frequently birds in the bush look quite scruffy.
A beautiful pair of gannets, beautifully presented.
Have a nice afternoon,