“On 11th January 2013, I visited the tip of Farewell Spit, South Island, New Zealand to admire a colony of Australasian Gannets (Morus serrator, Maori name: Takapu) established on a sandy and windy location (above).
“There was heavy air traffic at this site, as birds frequently landed and took off, just like a busy international airport (above).
“Within this colony, a number of bonded pairs were already prominent. Whenever one partner returns to reunite with its other half, I could detect a sense of anticipation and acknowledgement between them (above).
Bonding between pairs is regularly reinforced through a diversity of displays and gestures. Such affectionate behaviour includes simultaneous raising and waving of their heads (above).
Sightings of gannets returning with clumps of seaweed (for nesting material) in their bills provided indications to the onset of breeding activity in this colony.
A brief video clip of the gannet colony may be previewed above.”
Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
17th February 2013