Gone to See Europe. Semester at Sea Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage on the MV Explorer. Day 31: At Sea, North Sea.
Several Northern Gannets followed the ship as we crossed the North Sea. I think the birds use the ship to provide lift as they hunt for fish being disturbed by the wake of the ship. One of the Northern Gannet flew with one foot out. I don’t know if it was injured or was using the foot to provide drag? It is amazing that these birds spend almost all year at sea — only spending time on land to breed and raise their young. Image taken with a Nikon D4 camera and 80-400 mm VR II lens(ISO 180, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/400 sec).