Close encounters with gannets

24 06 2010

Grayson Renfrew holds a bewildered gannet prior to its safe release.

SEANET’s official Captain/Duck Hunter/General Outdoorsman, Jack Renfrew, has been in touch with news of an “interaction” with a Northern Gannet. Jack and his son, Grayson, were fishing for striper in Barnstable Harbor, Massachusetts. They had noticed that a large number of gannets appeared to be hanging out closer to shore than is their usual habit.

One unfortunate bird ventured a bit too close to the fisherman and was entangled in the line. Captain Jack and son disentangled the bird and paused with it in hand for a brief photo opportunity before successfully releasing the bird.

From the look of the bird’s plumage, it is an immature bird, probably about 3 years old. Its inexperience may partially explain this very doofus-y behavior, as younger birds seem to be more likely to suffer entanglements or approach humans too closely for their own good.

Fortunately for this bird, the Renfrew men are kind-hearted nature lovers and happily sent the bird back out, apparently none the worse for the wear.

Based on this report of large numbers of gannets near-shore, our Cape Cod walkers especially may anticipate increased numbers of beached gannets. But in any case, keep doing what you’re doing Seanetters!

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