Cape Gannets (Sula capensis). Gannet pairs may remain together over several seasons. They perform elaborate courtship rituals at the nest, stretching their bills and necks skywards and gently tapping bills together before wrapping their necks around each other in a rythmic action. They are easily identified by their large size, black and white plumage, distinctive yellow crown and hindneck and blue rings around the eye. The pale blue bill is pointed and has no external nostrils into which the water might be forced when it dives into the water at speeds between 40 and 120km an hour (25 and 75 mph).
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Lambert's Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA