gannets in australia


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  • Location: Popes Eye, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia
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  • Info: Outside daylight hours, livecam highlights are shown.
    Live streaming webcam showing a resident Australasian gannet colony at Popes Eye in Port Phillip Bay in Victoria, Australia.

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Pope's Eye is an important breeding site for Australasian gannets, which nest on platforms constructed for them as well as on the rocks of the reef, which are also used for roosting by black-faced cormorants and for foraging by ruddy turnstones. The site is often visited by Australian fur seals and Burrunan (bottlenose) dolphins. The Australasian gannet has 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. The wedge-shaped bill is bluish-grey, with a lining of black; the skin surrounding the eye is intensely blue.

The Australasian gannet, also known as the Australian gannet or tākapu, is a large seabird of the booby and gannet family. It is mostly a coastal seabird and breeds in dense colonies on coastal islands and on cliffs and beaches of some headlands of the New Zealand mainland and prefers flat ground for nesting, rather than cliff edges.

The breeding season extends from July, when birds first return to the gannetries, to fledging in March-April. Males arrive earlier than females, and either establish a new nest or re-occupy an old one. A single egg is normally laid and it is incubated while being held between the webbings of the gannets’ feet.