2023—Sticking The Landing?

Bird Rock at Cape St. Marys’ Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland is crowded. A Northern Gannet drops out of the air at Bird Rock looking for space to land. These large seabirds mate for life and despite the crowded conditions of their nest site, they know exactly where their mate is.

Most of the Gannets don’t pay attention as this is a common occurrence over and over throughout each day. The bird adjusts wings and feet.

Amazingly, there is a relatively large unoccupied space on the very top of Bird Rock and this Gannet seems to stick the landing.

But no! Milliseconds later, the momentum of the landing carries the bird forward and it ends in a belly flop. We watched this scenario over and over during our week at Bird Rock. Some of the crash landings were on tiny rock ledges and the bird flying in crashed on top of its mate. I couldn’t tell which, if any, of the surrounding birds was the crasher’s mate. But,I’m sure they soon found each other.

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