Razorbills, Auks and Murres
These birds join their cousins, the Puffins, on the Loafing Ledge in Maine. Here’s a little background on this colorful family:
The murres, murrelets, auklets, auks (Razorbill and Dovekie), puffins, and guillemots [are] of the family Alcidae – commonly called ‘alcids.’ The Razorbills (seen above) often can be recognized at a distance on the water by their large heads, stout bills, and upward-pointed tails. At 17″ (43 cm) [these are a] crow-sized diving bird. Black above and on head; white below; very deep, laterally compressed bill has white bands in adults.
As with many alcids, Razorbills migrate southward after severe cold spells and visit our shores in the midst of winter. They are hardy birds, spending most of their time at sea and approaching land only after strong easterly gales. During the breeding season, they prefer rocky coasts, where they lay their eggs and raise their young. Razorbills feed mostly on fish, shrimp, and squid. They are very adept at diving and have been caught in gill nets as deep as 60 feet (18 meters). (The Audubon Society).