Gannets are large seabirds with long pointed wings and long powerful conical beak. They can be seen in North Atlantic or southern Australia and New Zealand. The gannets hunt fish as their food.

Gannets are colonial breeders on islands or coasts. Gannet pairs will mate for life, and only breeding one chick each season. It takes five years for gannets to reach their maturity. In its first year, the birds are completely black, and subsequent sub-adult plumages show increasing amounts of white. They have a life span of approximately 25 years.

In New Zealand, the main egg-laying period is October and November. The incubation takes 6½ weeks, and the young, born is black and naked, soon become covered in white down. After about four months this is replaced by mottled greyish-brown immature plumage and the young leave the gannetries and migrate to eastern Australia. It returns back to its birth place after 3 to 5 years later to mate.

The gannets on Black Reef in Cafe Kidnappers

Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand is one of the largest and most accessible mainland colony for the gannets. The reserve is visited by thousands of people each year. There are a few tour operators to Cape Kidnappers such as: