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Takapu - Australasian Gannet

Takapu - Australasian Gannet
Photo Information
Copyright: Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-01-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 30d, Canon 70-300mm DO IS USM
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/2000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-02-18 19:41
Viewed: 5326
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Australasian Gannet
Morus serrator
Maori Name: Takapu

This wasn’t an easy photo to take, but I was thrilled to get a couple of ‘not so bad’ shots of the gannets in flight.

The Australasian Gannet is a large seabird of about 89cm and weighing nearly 2.5 kg. It is mainly white, with a buff yellow head, and black flight feathers.

The juvenile is spotted above [grey/brown] with brownish streaks below.

The adult plumage takes 3-5 years to develop.

Gannets feed mainly on small fish and some squid taken from deep waters or harbours and estuaries. These birds are plunge divers - they dive vertically from heights of up to 30m entering the water at tremendous speed. They have inflatable air sacs beneath the skin on the lower neck and breast that act as shock absorbers as they enter the water.

Gannets range widely in NZ seas during winter but return to their breeding sites around June/July.

The nests are made within close proximity of other nests, out of seaweed and guano. They usually lay just one egg, incubated for 44 days by both sexes.

The chicks fledge at between 13-17 weeks old where they will fly across the Tasman Sea to Australian waters. They remain there until 3-7 years old when they will return to their breeding site and will breed for the first time at about 5 years old.

There is a lot of chattering in the gannet colony but away from the breeding site the birds are normally silent. Muriwai, in West Auckland, is the mainland colony closest to Auckland.


rcrick, crs, Heaven, Argus, uleko, Miss_Piggy, chudy, eng55, cdplayer, bikefifty, fiyo has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Janice,

For a "not so bad shot" its pretty darn good, you had some harsh light to deal with but what a great capture.

Love the POV showing the full wing spread, wonderful colours, really nice work well done.

Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2009-02-18 20:59]

Hello Janice,

The bird is very nice shown in your photo. Despite its obvious movment image is sharp showing good details. You have chosen a good POV the the bird is shown from a good perspective. The pose with open wings is great for observing body details.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2009-02-18 21:21]

Hi Janice!

One day, if it should happen that I come to earth again, I would be like such a wonderful bird: spread out my wings, and fly through calm thermals during hours, looking down on the magnificent world... Your picture made me fly away, and have learned much about this species thanks to your notes. Thank you for this!

Kind regards


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-02-18 21:57]

Hello Janice,
I would say that this is a very good in-flight shot of an Australian Gannet. I like the POV and the lighting and its management is great. Nice and sharp too!
Thanks for sharing the kind of shot that I would love to take myself.

  • Great 
  • eliz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 167 W: 20 N: 271] (1537)
  • [2009-02-18 22:51]

Ceao Janice
beautiful capture with good details and a nice point of view.
you should try a little bit of noise reduction. I see noise in the darker zones (shadowed) of the birds body.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-02-18 22:59]

Hello Janice,
You did very well indeed taking this in-flight capture of a beautiful Gannet at a nice angle. Great focus, fine details and beautiful light and colours.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-02-19 1:01]

Hello Janice
Nice capture with good details and natural colors.

Hallo Janice
This is really stunning. You have captured this Gannet in a great in-flight-action-freezed-motion. These birds are truly beautiful and when in flight they remind me strongly about the Concorde planes. The markings and colours on the head and face area are well seen and displayed, and it stands out well against the almost grey sky. Luckily opinions differ, because your "not so bad shot" looks to me like a darn good shot. Thanks for sharing.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • chudy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 130 W: 0 N: 176] (899)
  • [2009-02-19 4:41]

Hi Janice
I like big birds these very and this small, but you show it very well . It thanks and I salute Slawek .

Ciao Janice, superb Gannet in splendid fly, wonderful capture with perfect focus, splendid light and colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

hello Janice
super picture
great details of the bird
nice colours
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-02-19 11:38]

Hello Janice,
Very beautiful photo of this Gannet. The perfect sharpening was maybe a little problem, but you made the best out of it. Great POV, composition and natural colours.

Hello Janice,

I've never really thought of gannets as graceful but this bird has proved a point to me! It looks so effortless!
Lovely details and good light management on what looks like a bright day.
The bird is nicely positioned in the frame.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-02-19 13:01]

Hi Janice,
Lovely in-flight capture of this Gannet.POV,details,framing and timing are wonderful.

This catch is wonderful Janice! Controlled lighting great POV and DOF!!


I am sure that it was hard to get this shot. I like the lighting on your "not so bad" shot. The detail on the wings is very good. I keep looking for some thing to criticize, but I am at a loss.

Nice shot - bob

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-02-19 23:34]

Merhaba Janice,
Çok güzel bir fotoğraf; netlik, renkler ve kadraj çok güzeldir.

Hola Janice,
Magnífica captura con gran nitidez, detalles, bonito encuadre, luz y color, saludos
José Ramón

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