Image: Alexander Safonov
The fish-seeking missiles go to work.
Cape Gannets spend at least a couple of years at sea when they’re young, before returning to their island breeding grounds. Here, the male birds claim a section as their territory and try to attract females to this ‘patch’ through their calls (a loud ‘kara-kara-kara-kara’) and head-bobbing displays. If a female is enticed, she joins in with some head bobbing of her own, and there will also be a bit of beak fencing between the two. The pair will then build a nest together and take turns incubating the single egg they produce (although very occasionally it’s two eggs).