|Scientific name: Morus bassanus
Authorship: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Spanish: Alcatraz atlántico
SIZE: Length 85-97 cm; Wingspan 170-192 cm.
IDENTIFICATION: It is a really easy identifiable species thanks to its considerable size, its long and narrow wings and its characteristic flights with quite fast, uniform and not very deep wingbeats alternating with short glides. Like the shearwaters, it usually flies at water level in windy weather, thus it can be confused with some of the biggest species, although the northern gannet is even bigger. It has a protruding tail and a longer neck/head. It performs spectacular vertical plunge dives from 10 – 40 meters above the sea level, retracting the wings just before hitting the water surface.
NESTING: It nests in colonies on the shore or on rocky inaccessible islands. It is a pelagic and very mobile species during the non-breeding period. It builds the nest with seaweed on protruding rocks on coastal cliffs.
ADULT: White coloured, with an ochre head and black wing tips.
JUVENILE: Grey coloured with white spots.