Île Bonaventure is known for the thousands of northern gannets inhabiting it.
With its grey eyes circled with blue, yellow neck and head and black-and-white plumage, this seabird is the king of Île Bonaventure. The colony that nests here is one of the biggest in the world.
Very territorial during the breeding season, Northern gannets have their own “private property” of two square meters. No web-footed trespassers allowed!
When plunge-diving, this bird can reach a speed of 100 km/h when it touches the water! Such a feat would be deadly for humans, but Northern gannets are perfectly adapted for it.
In addition to its strong skull, under its skin, it has a system of airbags that act as shock absorbers, protecting its head and upper body. These personal airbags also act as life preservers, enabling it rise to the surface more easily after diving!
Crazy in love
Northern gannets mate for life!
Although the male and female live separately during migration, they find each other every year on the site where they build their nest.
The pair reconnects through various courtship displays. The best known is when the two birds point their beaks skyward. This is called “billing”.