Yesterday was an extremely exciting day for us all at the Alderney Wildlife Trust, our latest project T.A.G (Track a Gannet) was launched! This shows where the gannets go to feed and you can even see some tagged gannets on Gannetcam. So far we have seen Alderney the Gannet travel right up past Margate in England!
The office was very busy with everybody buzzing around tweeting and excitingly following the gannets. We were mentioned in 16 newspapers which isn't bad for a small island!
The most fun we have had however is actually tagging the birds first hand. Jenni, Vicky (who is studying the gannets for her phd) and Phil from the BTO travelled to Ortac on the 8th of June. After a half hour boat journey we approached the 65 foot rock and began our climb!
How to Catch a Gannet.
There are 4 steps in catching a gannet
you will need:
- A long pole with a lasso on the end
- one sock
- one strong person
- Firstly you very carefully lasso the gannet. This has to be the quickest part of the capture as we want to reduce stress on the gannet as much as possible.
- Next you quickly grab hold of the bird and tuck in its wings so they do not get damaged and are kept still.
- The lasso is removed and a sock is put carefully on the gannets head. This is to calm the gannet down, like putting blinkers on a horse. Although they do look quite comical with the sock on their head.
- We quickly attach the tag to the tail feathers and then release the bird after removing the sock.