Alternate Title

Notes on the Status of the Gannet (Morus bassanus) in the Gulf of Mexico, with a Record from Mississippi

Document Type

Short Communication


The Northern Gannet nests on rock cliffs in the north Atlantic and winters as far south as Yucatan on the west, and N.W. Africa on the east. The birds are not known to cross land and seem to fly around Florida to enter the Gulf of Mexico. Most numbers have been reported off Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Numbers in the western Gulf seem to be few. There are 12 skeletal parts or skins of Texas gannets in museums in Texas and Louisiana. Two specimens have been collected in Louisiana, only one of which is known to remain. There are 6 specimens from the Mississippi coast (one from the high seas) in Mississippi and Louisiana museums, none from Alabama and 10 from south Florida. Gannets have been reported previously from the Gulf in every month but August. A live specimen was taken in Mississippi Sound on August 10, 1977 following heavy squalls. It was immature. It died on the same day. The skin was deposited in The Fannye A. Cook Memorial, the Mississippi Museum of Natural History, cataloged as Ab 5019.

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