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Australasian Gannet

(Morus serrator)
Alternate name(s): "Takupu", "Australian Gannet", "Diver*"
Aboriginal name(s): "pakuRum" [tjapwurrung]

Size: 85-90 cm; wing span 1.7-1.9 m
Weight: 2.0-2.8 kg


Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Australasian Gannet at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information



Sex unknown

Lateral view of an adult Australasian Gannet (photo courtesy of D. Dyer)
[10 km off Cervantes, WA, March 2021]

Near-frontal view of an Australasian Gannet in flight (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Flinders Bay, Augusta, WA, May 2015]

Near-lateral view of an adult Australasian Gannet in flight (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Flinders Bay, Augusta, WA, May 2015]

View from above onto an adult Australasian Gannet in flight; note the creamy colour of the head, providing a clear view of the upperwing pattern
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, June 2011]

The same Australasian Gannet as shown above, seen in a different phase of its wingbeat
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, June 2011]

Near-dorsal view of an Australasian Gannet in low flight (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Queenscliff ferry, near Sorrento, VIC, September 2019]


Lateral view of a juvenile Australasian Gannet; note the streaked head and neck and spotted upperwings
(photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Gold Coast, QLD, May 2018]

Dorsal view of a juvenile Australasian Gannet (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Gold Coast, QLD, May 2018]

View of the upperwing plumage of a juvenile Australasian Gannet
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, June 2009]

Crossing paths: juvenile Australasian Gannet (top) and Crested Tern in non-breeding plumage (bottom)
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, June 2009]


Australasian Gannets have an audacious hunting style, patrolling at about 10-20 m altitude before diving headlong at high speed into the water, often to great depth, to catch fish.

Australasian Gannet nose-diving into the sea; one can see clearly that the outer tail feathers are white, while the inner ones are black
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, June 2009]

Trail of bubbles where an Australasian Gannet is diving; this bird species can dive up to several metres deep
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, June 2009]

Food, Diet

Australasian Gannets feed on fish, which they catch by nose-diving from a height of tens of metres, grabbing fish with their bills up to several metres under the water's surface (see above). They are known to hunt in packs, especially when attacking shoals of fish.

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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