Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gannets of New Zealand - Part 2

The gannets of New Zealand live on the edge between land and sea where these cliffs provide a strong updraft for easy take off.



The home for this colony is Muriwai on the north island. 



About 15 weeks after birth, the chicks make a journey to Australia more than 2000km away.  There is no trial and error and no parents to show them the way.  They migrate on their own.  Those that survive the journey across the Tasmin will remain for several years.



Finally, instinct draws them back across the 'ditch' to New Zealand, never to return to Australia again.   Amazingly, those who make the return journey successfully, will come to the same nest they left behind years ago, to have chicks of their own.

6 comments:

diane b said...

That is interesting that they fly to Australia but don't return until years later. Looks like lots of them make it back.

Sandra said...

absolutely amazing

MTWaggin said...

The composition on that last photo is fabulous! Thank you too for sharing the information on them. So glad I found your blog!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Interesting how all the birds are evenly spaced apart sitting on the rock. Out of pecking range from their neighbor.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

More amazing shots. I especially like the ones taken from a higher angle,showing the shadows and all.

Robin said...

Karen, Wow, a feathered blanket of birds. Tremendous images!