Gannets are magnificent birds which can be spotted on nearly every tour with Seal kayak Kaikoura. With a spectacular diving action and breathing soaring motion, the birds can be commonly witnessed feeding on different species of fish from great heights.

  • Australasian gannets are common sights around the Kaikoura coast and have a lifespan of between 25-40 years making them one of the oldest living seabirds.
  • Gannets or “takapu” in Maori are large birds who mate for life and have a wingspan of about 2m.
  • Distinguishable in their blacktipped wings and yellow head and distinctive diving styles. They fly around the coastline until they spot prey with their incredible eyesight and descend in an arrow like formation towards the water.
  • They descend from 10-20m in the air onto their prey at speeds of upto 100kmh staying underwater for no more than 10 seconds and usually having swallowed their prey before returning to the surface.
  • Gannets have a large air sack in their throats which fill with air just before they hit the water acting as an airbag to the impact.

More Kaikōura Wildlife

Learn more about the wildlife you'll see on one of our Seal Kayak Kaikoura tours.

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