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Episode 673             Episode 675
Episode 674

Australasian gannet
Sun, 2019-Mar-10 01:35 UTC
Length - 2:41

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Sunday, 10 March 2019 is Australasian gannet.

The Australasian gannet (Morus serrator), also known as Australian gannet and tākapu, is a large seabird of the booby and gannet family, Sulidae. Adults are mostly white, with black flight feathers at the wingtips and lining the trailing edge of the wing. The central tail feathers are also black. The head is tinged buff-yellow, with a pale blue-grey bill edged in black, and blue-rimmed eyes. Young birds have mottled plumage in their first year, dark above and light below. The head is an intermediate mottled grey, with a dark bill. The birds gradually acquire more white in subsequent seasons until they reach maturity after five years.

The species ranges over water above the continental shelf along the southern and eastern Australian coastline, from Steep Point in Western Australia to Rockhampton, Queensland, as well as the North and South Islands of New Zealand, Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. Nesting takes place in colonies along the coastlines of New Zealand, Victoria and Tasmania—mostly on offshore islands, although there are several mainland colonies in both countries. Highly territorial when breeding, the Australasian gannet performs agonistic displays to defend its nest. Potential and mated pairs engage in courtship and greeting displays. The nest is a cup-shaped mound composed of seaweed, earth and other debris, built by the female from material mainly gathered by the male. One clutch of a single pale blue egg is laid yearly, though lost eggs may be replaced. The chick is born featherless but is soon covered in white down. Fed regurgitated fish by its parents, it grows rapidly and outweighs the average adult when it fledges.

These birds are plunge divers and spectacular fishers, plunging into the ocean at high speed. They eat mainly squid and forage fish that school near the surface. The species faces few natural or man-made threats, and since its population is growing it is considered to be a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:35 UTC on Sunday, 10 March 2019.

For the full current version of the article, see Australasian gannet on Wikipedia.

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