Saturday, February 20, 2010

skywatch Fridays: Gannets at Muriwai


On this rock formation, hundreds of gannets fly from Australia to mate and hatch their babies. Then they make the journey back to Australia again. Muriwai is an hours drive from Auckland, and you can see the birds from August to March.

The gannets mate and lays one egg. The adults take turns to sit on the the nest. When they are hatched, the chicks are naked, but within a week they're covered with fluffy down. As they mature, they grow juvenile feathers and begin to exercise their wings in preparation for the one-shot jump off the cliff.

Sometimes, perhaps the gannets arrive too late, or the eggs take too long to hatch, or the aged ones are too weak to fly, At around Easter, you see the sad story of the survival of the fittest. Birds are left behind to die, young and old. The fittest fly back to Australia leaving the weaklings to die in the colder season.




Jim said...

This is really interesting. What a great rock formation.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Pearl Maple said...

Wow, that is a great view and such a long trip for little birds to be undertaking. Have a great weekend.

Gattina said...

How amazing ! wonderful !

Kirigalpoththa said...

What an incredible rock formation..first time im seeing this!!

Kcalpesh said...

This place is a beauty! Would really love to visit if possible some day!!

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