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Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Canon 100-400 L + 1.4x Extender, B+W 77 010 UV-Haze 1 x
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-04-05 4:55
Viewed: 3442
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An adult Gannet in RSPB Bempton Cliffs nature reserve

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus, formerly Sula bassana).

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.

mariki, Argus, darwin, uleko, Hil, goldyrs, Necipp, jaycee, hester, Adanac, Royaldevon, Luis52, Arjun, SelenE, Maite has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Pekka,

Excellent capture of this gannet. Great composition, POV, DOF and sharpness. Good exposure and superb natural colours.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-04-05 6:01]

Hello Pekka,
Lovely sharp portrait of a Gannet. The pose, composition and POV on the limestone cliff is great and it is nice to see the details of the foot as well as the head.
Thanks for sharing this fine image and have a good weekend,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-04-05 6:03]

Hello Pekka,
Great photo of this Gannet. Sharp and with beautiful clear and natural colours. Very good POV, DOF and composition.

  • Great 
  • citak (70)
  • [2008-04-05 6:09]

Bravo Pekka,
This is beautiful bird and nice shot.
Thank you for sharing.


Hi Pekka
Very nice capture and composition
Good natural color with fine details
tfs jon

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-04-05 7:58]

Hello Pekka,
Brilliant capture of this Gannet on the narrow cliff shelf. Excellent sharpness, fine light and natural colours. I like the POV very much and the soft background suggesting the height. A lovely composition.
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2008-04-05 9:22]

Hi Pekka

Superb shot of the Gannet resting on its cliff perch, nicely composed with a great POV and pose, very good DOF and nice sharp details, good exposure on the whites too.


Hello Pekka,
Good Northern Gannet portrait in its natural environment, the Bempton cliffs.

This bird has grey eyes, so beautifully captured here by you!And your POV is absolutly fantastic....
Thank you!

Hello Pekka, this is a fine shot of a gannet. The details are beautiful and the pov nice and well composed. Good dof, nice light and exposure. wonderful work. tfs Rgds Necip

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-04-05 12:33]

Hi Pekka

Great POV, it looks like you were on the cliff ledge with the bird! Beautiful colours and markings captured and the shot is nicely sharp. Great composition and excellent exposure. It looks like they have a nest as well



Hello Pekka,
Good close up on the Gannet on the edge of the rock!
the image is sharp with good colour and superb details here
very well done

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-04-05 18:48]

Hello Pekka,
This is an outstanding capture with excellent details and colors. I like the point of view very much and plumage details are phenomenal. Thank you for sharing.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-06 8:39]

Hi Pekka,

A superb shot of this Gannet who looks like he may be sitting on a nest. Wonderful colors and excellent details from head to web toe. The face looks painted and the eye is amazing. I love the webbed foot!


Hi Pekka,
nice shot. Nice capture with excellent sharpness and colours. Well done.tfs.Stev

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-04-06 19:16]

Hola Pekka.
This is a gret Pro Photo. Very sharp and well focus. Excellent datails on this beautiful Gannet. Like his colors and the pose.
The note is also very interesting for Me.

Hello Pekka,

I am familiar with gannets!
My children were all of that inclination!

This, however, is a wonderful shot!
White can easily become overexposed but you have managed the light perfectly!
Good sharp image and wonderful details, even his feet!
Where were you standing to get such a lovely shot!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Many thanks for your warm comments on 'Another first!'
pl :-)

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2008-04-07 10:03]

very nice picture with powerful details

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-04-16 1:25]

Hi Pekka,
Lovely capture of this beautiful gannet. I liked the lighting, POV, color tones, composition and the pose you captured. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-04-24 1:36]

What a superb picture, Pekka!! I have never seen this kind of bird in our coasts, and I really miss it for I think it must be really thrilling to see it. It's so beautiful! You did a great capture here, with a marvellous focus, DOF, framing and composition.
I love it!
Thank you very much for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-05-17 15:32]

Hi Pekka

Great shot of this gannet - good framing plus great colour and excellent detail. Well observed and captured. Into my favourites.


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