Getting personal with the gannets was easy. After anchoring off the Percé village pier, we took a tour boat to Bonaventure Island. From a trail through a forest of fragrant firs and flitting songbirds we stepped out onto a flat piece of land packed with nesting gannets. Thousands of bird voices melted into a cascading roar. For a close-up view, we leaned against a railing, arm's length from immaculately elegant birds, their profiles and brilliant eyes pure art nouveau. Couples tended their chicks, awkward with oversize feet and beaks, shedding fluff and snoozing.