CAPE GANNET

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Morus capensis

SIZE: 84 – 94 cm

WEIGHT: 2.9 kgs

Cape Gannets breed on islands off the coast of Namibia and South Africa with the largest colony found on Malgas Island

Migration

Young birds seen from December to May migrate during the winter months up the east and west coasts.

Bird Call

The voice is a loud raucous ‘kara-kara-kara-kara’.

Number of chicks

The Cape Gannet only has 1 chick

Breeding

The single egg is incubated by the birds’ feet. It is initially bluish-white but later becomes dirty and covered in guano.

Immature Description

Immatures all-dark initially, heavily spotted and speckled all over, body, head and neck, becoming white in that sequence.

Adult Description

Unmistakable, large black and white seabird with yellow head and hind neck, at close range with distinctive black lines on bill and face, plus a long black line down centre of throat. The Cape Gannet is a large white marine bird with long wings, completely webbed toes and pointed bill; nostrils not visible; tail feather not so stiff as in Cormorants and Pelicans.

Status

The Cape Gannet is a common or locally abundant resident.

Distribution

The Cape Gannet is a common off-shore species, resident throughout the year on the west and southern coasts. Found in coastal waters throughout the year as far as 160 kms offshore.