The Gannet is one of the most popular sea birds for birders worldwide, especially during breeding season. Adults are large white birds with yellowish heads; black-tipped wings; and long bills. Northern gannets are the largest seabirds in the North Atlantic, having a wingspan of up to 2 meters. The other two species occur in the temperate seas around southern Africa, southern Australia and New Zealand.
“Gannet” is derived from Old English ganot “strong or masculine”. Gannets hunt fish by diving into the sea from a height of 30 meters, achieving speeds of 100 kilometers per hour as they strike the water, enabling them to catch fish much deeper than most airborne birds.
Gannet has a maximum lifespan of up to 35 years. The gannet’s supposed capacity for eating large quantities of fish has led to “gannet” becoming a description of somebody with a voracious appetite.