Story: Seabirds – overview

Australasian gannet

Australasian gannet

Australasian gannets belong to the Pelecaniformes order. Their streamlined bills and heads allow them to penetrate the water when they dive for prey – they plunge from heights of up to 30 metres, entering the water at 145 kilometres per hour. Unlike albatrosses and other petrels they have no external nostrils, as these could be a hindrance when plunging at high speed. Their numbers have been increasing in New Zealand, with colonies at new sites becoming established.

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Department of Conservation
Reference: 10038053
Photograph by Peter Blok

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How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Seabirds – overview - Who are the seabirds?', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 December 2023)

Story by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015