- Australasian Gannet
Australasian Gannet At Cape Kidnappers
Vocalizations at the colony (help·info)
Conservation status Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Sulidae Genus: Morus Species: M. serrator Binomial name Morus serrator
Adults are mostly white, with black flight feathers at the wingtips and lining the trailing edge of the wing. The central tail feathers are also black. The head is yellow, with a pale blue-grey bill edged in black, and blue-rimmed eyes.
Young birds have mottled plumage in their first year, dark above and light below. The head is an intermediate mottled grey, with a dark bill. The birds gradually acquire more white in subsequent seasons until they reach maturity after five years.
Their breeding habitat is on islands off Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand. They normally nest in large colonies on coastal islands. A large exception is the protected colony on the mainland at Cape Kidnappers (5000 pairs). There are also mainland colonies at Muriwai and Farewell Spit.
Gannet pairs may remain together over several seasons. They perform elaborate greeting rituals at the nest, stretching their bills and necks skywards and gently tapping bills together. The adults mainly stay close to colonies, whilst the younger birds disperse.
Numbers of Australasian Gannet have been increasing since 1950, although some colonies have disappeared and others have decreased in size.
- BirdLife International (2004). Morus serrator. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.