The Northern Gannet, with a 2 m (6.5 ft.) wingspan, is the largest seabird that breeds in Canadian waters.
Northern Gannets feed primarily on surface-dwelling fish, such as herring and mackerel. To catch them, a gannet will dive from heights up to about 43 m (141 ft.), plummeting into the water at great speed and with considerable force. The bird's skull is especially strong, and a system of air sacs also helps to absorb the shock of these plunges.
Northern Gannets nest on steep cliffs on islands off Canada's east coast and Europe's west coasts. The nests are large, between 30 and 60 cm (1 and 2 ft.) high. They are made from a mixture of vegetation, seaweed, feathers and earth, and may be cemented with guano (seabird excrement).
The North American gannets winter at sea, from Virginia to southern Florida, and return to their breeding grounds in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador in early April.