Australasian Gannets

I have a love affair with the Australasian gannet and being within a 45 minute drive to the nearest colony at Muriwai on Auckland's West Coast, it is always a thrill to get out to observe and photograph them.

The Gannet is a large, mostly coastal seabird with predominantly white plumage, long, pointed wings, a long neck and slender body shape. The trailing edges of its wings and a varying proportion of its central tail feathers are black.

I think they are a beautiful, elegant bird. I love watching their relationship rituals - from the wooing with seaweed, to the nurturing and affection in the courting and mating sequence.  They are hard working birds and totally committed to rearing their chicks through to fledglings and seeing them take their first flight.

While it's a great achievement for a photographer to capture them in flight, I'm equally drawn to capturing the smaller details like the preening, necking and feeding their young, and making fine art photographs with these.

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