Seabirds Can Spy Fishing Boats From 7 Miles Away, Scientists Find
Study is first to examine "halo of influence."
A type of seabird can zero in on fishing boats from a distance of about 7 miles (11 kilometers) away, a new study says.
Once gannets arrive at the boat, they often catch fish that have been thrown overboard, plunge-diving into the water at speeds of up to 60 miles (96 kilometers) an hour.
The study—conducted recently off the coast of Ireland—also revealed that the birds don't investigate boats that are drifting and not actively in use.
This study is the first to look at the "halo of influence" that a boat has over seabirds—and its large area surprised the scientists, who published their paper June 2 in the journal Current Biology.
Gannets are "finely tuned to their habitat," said study leader