Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Ailing Bird Who Dropped By

The Gannet

This Thanksgiving weekend (Canadian) I visited my cousins in NS. Some of the boys found a odd feathered friend in the backyard. He was misplaced about a 10 min. drive from the nearest shoreline, but he was for sure a shore bird. He seemed to be either ill or injured because he was making no attempt at flying away as we got closer. 

My Uncle & I decided to catch him & drive him down to a sheltered part of the Bay so he would be in his own element where he had more of a chance of surviving. 

Northern Gannets are the largest seabird in the North Atlantic, with a wingspan of up to 2 metres. Gannets can dive from a height of 30 m, achieving speeds of 100 km/h as they strike the water, enabling them to catch fish much deeper than most airborne birds.
The gannet's supposed capacity for eating large quantities of fish has led to "gannet" becoming a disapproving description of somebody who eats excessively, similar to "glutton".
I later read that they cannot take off in flight unless they are in water or dive off a cliff; so I am very glad we brought him to the shore. I hope he doing well now. 

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