Grassholm – Greg and the research team from Exeter University are out camping on Grassholm again this week, returning on Saturday. This is the second of three visits scheduled for this summer. Below are just some of the headlines from 10 years of research, numerous PhD and Masters projects, 21 published scientific papers and many uncomfortable sleepless nights:
- Male gannets are lazy! (No comment) They feed more on discards and offal from fishing vessels than females and their fishing trips are shorter and quicker. The reasons for these gender-related differences are still unclear.
- The deepest dive recorded by a Grassholm Gannet was 22.2 metres
- The longest dive lasted 37.5 seconds underwater
- Birds leaving Grassholm to find food for their chick all go south and west of Grassholm to forage.
- Single forgaing trips made by birds feeding chicks on Grassholm range from 77km to 1782km in total length! They travel from 33km to 472km away from Grassholm on each trip.
- Foraging trips can last for between 3 to 97 hours!
- 62% of gannets leaving to find food, first stop to raft on the water within 2km of Grassholm. This time is spent cleaning the feathers after spending time at the nest. This is the reason for the recently designated extension to the Grassholm SPA, to include a 2km at sea area.