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Razorbill

The Razorbill (Alca torda) is a large alcid, 38-43 cm in length, with a 60-69 cm wingspan. It is the only member of the genus Alca.

Adult birds are black on their upperparts and white on the breast and belly. The thick black bill has a blunt end. The tail is pointed and longer than that of a Murre. In winter, the black face becomes white.

Their breeding habitat is islands, rocky shores and cliffs on northern Atlantic coasts, in eastern North America as far south as Maine, and in Western Europe from northwestern Russia to northern France. They nest in colonies for the most part and lay their eggs on bare rock or ground.

North American birds migrate offshore and south, ranging from the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to New England. Eurasian birds also winter at sea, with some moving south as far as the western Mediterranean.

These birds swim underwater to forage for food, mainly fish, but on occasion they will eat certain crustaceans and marine worms.

Razorbill


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