Some observations on the gannet in Hauraki Gulf
The gannet with a wingspread of seventy inches, is one of the largest seabirds in New Zealand. Only the giant petrel (span seven feet), and an occasional albatross visiting these waters , are larger. Its white plumage, with black wingtips and pastel yellow head make it a bird of outstanding beauty, and its skill as a diver cannot fail to impress the most casual observer.
The family Sulidae to which it belongs includes the coloured boobies of the tropics and three sub-families of white "sea-geese" found in the temperate waters of the North Atlantic, South Atlantic and the South Pacific. One of the earliest known colonies has built on the Bass Rock, off the coast of East Lothian, for many centuries; and so all three types of gannet are called Sula bassana. In the North Atlantic round Great britain and Ireland, Iceland and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence we have Sula bassana bassana; near the Cape of Good Hope, S. b. capensis and in Australia and New Zealand, S. b. serrator.