Sunday, 18 August 2013

109. Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)

Time for (Northern) Gannet, a familiar seabird in the UK which is not surprising, as over 70% of the world's population of Gannets breed around our shores. The species name bassanus comes from Bass Rock, one of the most well-known Gannet breeding colonies, which is an island off the southeast coast of Scotland. Their range is large, stretching across the north Atlantic from the east coast of America to western Europe and northwest Africa, as far north as Norway and Greenland. Adult Gannets are unmistakeable with their large size, smooth plumage, yellow heads and long, pointed, black-tipped wings. Juveniles can be a bit more challenging with dark brown speckled plumage; at a distance they might resemble one of the larger shearwaters, but Gannets have a longer head and neck and more wedge-shaped tail. Their diving behaviour is also distinctive and spectacular!

Gannet, ©squallidon, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Northern Gannet drawing

Doh, the bill is way too short! I'm quite pleased with the colours though. I've gone for a self-indulgent portrait in colour today, the kind of drawing I like doing best, as a treat after a very busy weekend attending another wedding and getting a bit stressed out about not studying enough. I managed to catch up pretty well this afternoon though and just about finished my current assignment :o)

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