We are back at Muriwai and the gannets for this post but with a bit more of a focus on behaviour and nest building. This is where I see the biggest difference between the Muriwai colony and the Cape Kidnappers colony (I will get to them in a later post as they are further on in the trip). The gannets at Muriwai are very close to people and houses, so their nesting material is mixed with grasses, twigs and bits of rope, baling twine and even some canvas webbing. It is of course all held together with poop of the highest quality due to the very high winds.
The male bird is the nesting material gatherer. If you see a gannet carrying stuff you know it is a male. The females either have them well trained or just refuse to do the blokes work – either way I approve. The twigs and suchlike are also used to entice a mate so risks are taken to get the very best piece of twig as you can see – of course the one over the edge is the best and must be retrieved.
There is very little left in the way of nesting material left near the nests and I suspect that next time I visit here, this lone bush will be gone too. The slopes around the colony have been all but stripped of anything useful to the nest building process.The gannets are a pleasure to watch and if you can cope with the wind at Muriwai and the accompanying smell that a whole lot of poop produces then I highly suggest you take your camera and go visit them. You don’t need a huge lens here as you can get very close to the birds from the two viewing platforms.