Gannets Gone Wild

Along the North Atlantic the gannet is the largest, and without a doubt the most spectacular, sea bird. With a wing of nearly six feet, this high flying daredevil falls from the sky in breathtaking  plunges of upwards of 100 feet. Its an awesome display of wild nature in action. You can’t take your eyes off it.

Gannets Diving at Dawn

Hitting the sea at speeds of 60 miles an hour, each gannet dive send a column of white water shooting skyward. How these birds survive I don’t know. As the gannet descends into the ocean blue, the water slows its progress. And then from the depths, the gannet reverses and ascends upward through the school of bait; taking its meal.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching gannets from the rocky cliffs of Ireland, as well as on the Rhode Island coast.  Here they arrive in fall, timing their appearance with the migration of large schooling forage fish, most notably the Atlantic sea herring.

Atlantic Sea Herring

This entry was posted in Fly Fishing in Salt Water, Fly Fishing On the Beach, Looking Upward, On the Road, Wild Things. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gannets Gone Wild

  1. Jim Deady says:

    They’re either hungry or suicidal but they are amazing. Great shot. I’m sorry, but every time i see one dive it looks like a Japanese Zero heading stright down at an American Carrier. At least the gannet has the good sense not to fill up on petrol before the dive.

    • admin says:

      Hey Jim,
      Very special, very hungry birds….love’em. In all the years I’ve been watching them, only seen one dead on the beach!….They’re survivors …

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