A dead Baby
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|“A dead Baby” is the name of this photo taken today at the Cape St Mary's Bird Sanctuary. Tens of thousands of these Northern Gannett’s next here every spring before heading south. |
Male Northern Gannets choose a nest site when they are three, four, or five years old. Courtship involves much formal bowing and spreading of wings. Usually the first breeding season is devoted to courtship and building the nest. Pairs may remain together for years. Established pairs add to nests at the breeding colony, which may still be snow-covered when they arrive.
Occupied year after year, a typical nest grows from a low collection of seaweed, sticks, moss, and debris into a substantial heap of feathers, fish skeletons, and droppings accumulated from many generations of nesters. Nests are usually 600 to 900 mm apart and form regular lines due to the hexagonal shape of each territory, an arrangement that allows the birds to pack the maximum number of nests into a given area.
This bird :
-is a fast and powerful flyer but its short legs and large webbed feet make it awkward at landings and take-offs
-can see forward with both eyes—which is unusual in birds
-may glide for hours just above the wave tips, seldom moving its wings
-occupies the same nest year after year, until it becomes a substantial heap of feathers, fish skeletons, and droppings
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A very sad, but well documented image of these beautiful birds. The accompanying note is well written. TFS Jim. :)