Northern gannets, Great Saltee Island, Ireland
© Danny Green/Minden Picture
Photo info. Northern gannets on Great Saltee Island, Ireland
From North America to Western Europe, northern gannets live all along the North Atlantic coasts. These large birds spend most of their lives at sea, following groups of sardines, herring and other small fish that they feed on. During breeding and hatching season, northern gannets often return to the same colony locations each year, where thousands of birds may gather to nest and care for their young. This group is busy collecting nesting material on Great Saltee Island, the larger of the two Saltee Islands, about five kilometres off the coast of southern Ireland. Both Great and Little Saltee are largely unoccupied, unless you count all the birds.