Bonaventure Island, on Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula, is an uninhabited island that is home to the largest gannet colony in North America, and the second largest in the world. It was first protected as a bird sanctuary in 1919 by the federal government. Later, in 1973, it became a national park, administered by Canada’s National Park Service. Explorer Jacques Cartier noted seeing gannets as he sailed past in 1534. One report in 1887 estimated 3,000 birds. Today, there are more than eighty thousand gannets, along with many other seabird species that nest on the island. Gannets are long-lived birds (more than 20 years), that return to the same nest year after year. They arrive on the island in April and leave for their winter migration by mid-September.