Northern gannets show impressive devotion to each other, pairing for life and returning to the same nest site each year to breed. At the seabird colony on Bempton Cliffs on the Yorkshire coast, Steve has watched gannet behaviour for a number of years. 'Many times I have seen a male offer the female a gift such as a feather or blade of grass,' he says. 'But on this occasion I was amazed to see the male give his partner a necklace of red campion.' Gannets are beautiful birds but their bright white plumage can be challenging to photograph in the contrasting coastal light conditions. Here the challenge was also to create a composition that would reflect the devotion between the pair. The gift was the soft evening light that enhanced the tenderness of the moment.
Canon EOS-1D Mark III + 500mm f4 lens; 1/800 sec at f6.3 (+0.7 e/v); ISO 400.
Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire, UK
Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.