Northern Gannet: Seasonal Occurrence & Geographic Distribution

Northern Gannet Morus bassanus

Status: Uncommon yet regular winter resident along the coast. Often seen in small groups of two to four birds (sometimes in short lines); most overwintering Northern Gannets range from juvenile to 3rd-year birds, very few in adult plumage. Almost any sulid seen from Lower Texas Coast beaches from November through May would be this species.

TX Status: Uncommon to common migrant and winter resident offshore and along the immediate coast.

Habitat: Often seen from land along the open gulf coast, rarely seen from the Laguna Madre.

Similar Species: Northern Gannet is quite similar to Masked Booby, both being large, long-winged seabirds with varying amounts of dark and white plumage. Juvenile Northern Gannet show white uppertail coverts while Masked Booby has a white rump. Although difficult to see (except at close range), Northern Gannet has feathering that extends well in front of the eye. Fortunately both species occur in different seasons (gannets in winter and boobies in summer). In addition, Northern Gannet is usually found in close proximity to the immediate coast as well as offshore waters, while Masked Booby is usually seen far from shore in offshore and pelagic waters.

© Copyright  Brad McKinney  31 October 31, 2004 (Status updated by Garett Hodne Nov 2014)


The graph below shows the number and date of all Brown Booby sightings on all Texas Pelagics from 1992 to 2014:

NOGA Graph


Coordinates for Northern Gannet sighting are not available.

View Sulid Distribution in a larger map

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Click on each sighting symbol and the data label will appear showing the time, date and the number of birds seen.

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