The northern gannet is the largest seabird in Europe. Adults are white with black wingtips, while juveniles have a dark plumage, covered in white spots and with a white rump. It takes three or more years for them to get the adult plumage.
One of the most amazing behaviour is when the gannet plunges into the sea in pursuit of fish, breaking the surface of the sea as a bullet, with the wings completely extended backwards for perfect aerodinamics.
This species breeds in large colonies in cliffs. Bass Rock is one of the biggest colonies in Scotland, with the first recorded nest in 1448!! In 2004 this colony contained more than 48,000 nests, and by 2014 it had increased to over 75,000 making it the largest colony in the world. Saint Kilda and Sula Sgeir, in the Hebrides, are other areas where you can find large colonies. Due to the number of nests present at cliffs, it appears to be covered in snow when you see them from a distance.