Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)


We have one of the largest northern gannet colonies in the world just 10 miles of the Reykjanes Peninsula called Eldey (Fire Island). Roughly 25,000 pairs breed on this island every summer.

Northern gannets are competent divers, diving from heights of up to 30 m and getting to speeds of up to 100 km/h. They have a network of air sacs located between the skin and muscles to cushion the impact of hitting the water. On many occasions we have seen hundreds of gannets flocking together and diving for the delicious food available to them.

Average Length: 94 cm
Average Weight: 3 kg
Wingspan: 175 cm
Diet: Sandeels, capelin, herring, small cod, squid
Est. population around Iceland: ~ 31, 500 pairs
Residence Period: All year round
Nesting habitat: Cliff ledges
Nesting Period: Late March to Late June
Clutch size (No eggs): 1
Incubation time (days): 42-46
Fledging time: 84-97
Typical life span (years): 17
Age at first breeding (years): 5
IUCN world Status: Least concern
Major Threats: Climate change, over fishing, predation, pollution
Other Names: Súla, Sule, Suula, Baßtölpel, Jan van Gent, Fou de Bassan, Sula, Gluptakzwyczajny, Alcatraz, Havsule, Ganso-patola-comum