Also known as Australian
Very similar to Cape Gannet and (slightly less so) to Northern Gannet.
Adult: Wing pattern essentially like Cape Gannet, with black primaries, upper primary coverts and 3 outermost secondaries. Tail is white except for the four innermost feathers which are black.
Immatures: Very similar
to Cape and Northern Gannets. Field identification requires more study.
Brown immatures (1-2 yr olds) thought to have slightly paler head, neck
and underparts (Enticott and Tipling, 1997).
Where and When
Breeds in colonies on islands off southern Australia, Tasmania, Norfolk Island and New Zealand. The largest mainland colony, and a major tourist attraction, is the colony at Cape Kidnapper's in Hawkes Bay, North Island of New Zealand.
Non-breeders disperse west
and north to the Tropic of Capricorn along the eastern and western coasts
of Australia. Has reached Brazil, South Africa, The Crozets and Marion
Island. Vagrant status in African waters may be obscured by similarity
to Cape Gannet.
Photographs on the web
Adult on water
Paul Hafner has posted an
series of photographs taken at a breeding colony on Muriwai (NW of
Auckland) in New Zealand, including several that are especially useful
from an identification standpoint:
In flight showing ventral surfaces Notice how the long white terials give the (slightly misleading) impression of white secondaries.
Detail of secondaries and upperwing coverts.
Ventral view showing tail.
Another ventral view showing white outer tail feathers and a few residual dark under primary coverts. One of the teritals also seems to dark.
Five adults in flight More like a typical seawatching view.
nice series showing details of the head pattern and gular stripe. Taken
at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay by
Nelson, J.B. (1978) The Sulidae:
gannets and boobies. Oxford University Press, London.
Copyright © 2002 All
rights reserved. Angus Wilson
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