Tuesday Morning Bird Photo

This is a northern gannet, a seabird, and a visitor to Virginia in the wintertime. In the summer these birds live off the coast of Canada (and I believe there are populations in France, Ireland, and Norway as well). They have a big fat deposit on those yellow heads and are great divers, plunging headlong into the ocean from a height as much as 130 feet in search of fish and squid.  

The gannets are still in Virginia (at least there were plenty of them when I was at the beach last Saturday) but soon they'll head back north for the spring and summer. I love their coloring (you can't see the feet, but they are green veined with black - very dramatic).

I was happy to get this shot of a northern gannet motoring along in the surf fairly close to shore - they tend to stay farther out in the water usually. Their feathers are waterproof. 

I think I love seabirds because they seem to be able to live without territory, without having to mark out a place on land. Obviously they need land for their nests, but otherwise, they are ocean-going all the time.  I wonder what it would be like to live without having to mark my territory.


Sarah SSM said…
This is beautiful. Thank you. I'll have to come back and look at more of your bird photos now that I've discovered them!