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Revision as of 16:23, 17 January 2021 by GreenFields-3 (talk | contribs) (Text replacement - "<flashmp3>(.*)<\/flashmp3><br \/>" to "{{ Audio|$1 }}")
Photo © by johnmoonie
Farne Islands, Northumberland, June 2006
Alca torda

Identification

Non-breeding
Photo © by Digiscoper321
West Sweden, November 2005

L. 37–39 cm (14½-15¼ in)
W. 60-69 cm

Adult Breeding

  • Black upperparts
  • White breast and belly
  • Thick, black bill with blunt end
  • White stripes on bill
  • White line from eye to base of the bill
  • Long, pointed tail

Non-breeding

  • Black face becomes white

Similar Species

Photo © by the late Mahsleb
Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire, May 2009

Common Guillemot, which has a long pointed bill.

Distribution

Northern Atlantic coasts, in eastern North America as far south as Maine, and in western Europe from northwestern Russia to northern France.

Taxonomy

Subspecies

Two subspecies are recognized:[1]

Habitat

Breeds on islands, rocky shores and steep cliffs, usually at a lower level to the Common Guillemot. Winters on the open sea and in large estuaries.

Behaviour

Flight

Flies fast and direct low over water.

Breeding

In colonies with eggs laid on a bare rock ledge

Diet

Swims underwater to forage for food. Eats sand eels, herring, some crustaceans and marine worms.

Vocalisation

A querrulous, croaking kaargh

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References

  1. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  1. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  2. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  3. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6

Recommended Citation

External Links


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