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Common Murre

From Opus

(Redirected from Common Guillemot)

Alternative name: Common Guillemot.

Photo by DafiCopansay, Orkney
Photo by Dafi
Copansay, Orkney
Uria aalge


[edit] Identification

Length: 17.5" (44.5cm); Wingspan 26" (66cm.)
A large alcid, relatively more slender than others in this family. Pacific birds average larger than Atlantic birds.
Adult breeding birds have brown-black upperparts and throat, white underparts, long dark bill, short tail. On first-year and non-breeding birds, the throat is white, which extends to the back of the neck. A thin dark line extends from the eye down behind the cheek. Long straight bill that appears pointed upward with the birds usual posture in the water.
The "bridled" form has a white lining around the eye.

Photo by CopoutBempton Cliffs, May 2009
Photo by Copout
Bempton Cliffs, May 2009

[edit] Similar Species

Quite similar to the Thick-billed Murre, which is also genus Uria. The bill of Uria aalge is longer and straighter.

[edit] Distribution

Northern Palearctic, coastal northern North America. Accidental vagrant inland.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

This is a polytypic species, consisting of five subspecies[1]:

  • U. a. aalge:
  • U. a. albionis:
  • British Isles to western Iberian Peninsula; winters to Helgoland
  • U. a. hyperborea:
  • U. a. inornata:
  • U. a. californica:

A sixth subspecies, ibericus, is not recognised by all authorities[2]

[edit] Habitat

Rocky coasts.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

The diet includes fish and invertebrates.

[edit] Breeding

They breed in colonies. The single egg is incubated for 30 days, on bare rock.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at
  2. Avibase
  3. Whatbird

[edit] External Links

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