Friday, August 07, 2009

Northern Gannet colony on Bonaventure Island

Northern Gannet sky tilting (shot from ground level)
EOS 1DsIII; 500/4IS lens & 1.4x teleconvertor; 580EXII flash

I spent the other day photographing at the world's largest Northern Gannet colony on Bonaventure Island at the eastern tip of the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec. This was one of the most fun, action-packed days of shooting I've had in a long time. There are tens-of-thousands of gannets and non-stop opportunities to shoot them.

Getting to Bonaventure Island requires taking a tourboat from the adjacent town of Perce. Once on the island, it's a solid 45 minute hike to the colony. Wanting to have a full range of lenses with me, I carried my main camera pack plus another pack with the 500mm lens. Soaked in sweat on the humid morning, I was elated to finally reach the colony!

It was overcast and foggy in the morning, then sunny in the afternoon... which gave me a range of conditions to photograph in. All-in-all, it was a great day of photography!

Northern Gannet flying over colony
EOS 1DsIII; 24-70/2.8 lens & Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer; 580EXII flash
Northern Gannet landing in foggy conditions
EOS 1DsIII; 70-200/2.8 lens & 1.4x teleconvertor; 580EXII flash


  1. Anonymous4:31 PM

    #1 photo is beautiful and #3 photo looks like the bird is in an Alfred Hitchcock movie lol

  2. I'm so jealous! Excellent images.

  3. These are gorgeous! Some of your best work ever.

    Where is that island again?

  4. Jessica, use google maps to find the town of Perce, Quebec which is located in eastern Canada near the mouth of the St. Lawrence Seaway. It's a long drive to get there, but the scenery along the way is spectacular.

  5. I will get up there someday Ethan. I always thought these were beautiful birds. I really love the top portrait, the graded color background really makes the shot.

  6. I love all three of them, but the second is my favorite. Great framing and use of the wide angle.

  7. Sweet! I think these are some of your best bird shots, right up there with your killer Great Grey Owls. Glad you made it there. Next time you can hire me to carry your equipment (and my own).

  8. Just tripped over your blog while looking up a link for Fogo, which is where I am at the moment. Wonderful photos. Love the top gannet one. Saw them at St. Mary's on the Avalon Peninsula last week and I'm still raving about them. Thanks for posting! Linda

  9. Anonymous11:10 AM

    nice shot, I was wondering if been out to bonaventure island this year and do you know if there are any birds this time of year hanging around there? awesome work!!!

  10. I've only ever been there in the summer, and it's very far from where I live.... so I'm definitely not an expert on the colony. Presumably the gannets are on the colony during breeding season (spring/summer). I doubt you could even get there in off-season (now)...Bonaventure is an island and you take a tour boat from the town of Perce to get out there.

  11. hello, this post remember me when i was a child, i do not know why....