Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Muriwai's gannet colony is a one hour drive from the centre of Auckland. About 1,200 pairs of gannets nest here from August to March each year. Each pair lays one egg and the parents take turns on the nest.
The chicks hatch naked, but within a week they're covered with fluffy down. As they mature, they grow juvenile feathers and begin to exercise their wings in preparation for the one-shot jump off the cliff. Once airborne, the young gannets leave the colony and cross the Tasman Sea to Australia. A few years later, surviving birds return to secure a nest site at the colony.