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Razorbill

Alca torda ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: ALCIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A large auk of the northern Atlantic Ocean, the Razorbill can be found offshore in winter as far south as New Jersey, and occasionally Virginia.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
16.9 in
43 cm
Wingspan
24.8–26.8 in
63–68 cm
Weight
17.8–31.4 oz
505–890 g
Other Names
  • Petit pingouin (French)
  • Alca común (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The oldest known Razorbill was at least 41 years old It was banded as a nestling on Bardsey Island in the United Kingdom in 1968, and was resighted while breeding in 2009.

Habitat


Ocean

Food


Fish

Schooling fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Egg Description
Whitish with dark blotches around large end.
Nest Description

Shallow bowl of pebbles, vegetation, feathers, bones, and shells. Placed in open spaces between boulders, in cracks in rocks, caves, or on narrow cliff ledges. Nests in colonies.

Nest Placement

Cliff

Behavior


Surface Dive

Dives underwater to capture prey, using its wings to swim.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Razorbill populations are currently thought to be stable or increasing throughout major parts of the species' global range. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a continental breeding population of 76,000 birds, rates the species a 14 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and lists it as a Species of Moderate Concern. Razorbill is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Exploitation by people for food greatly reduced Razorbill populations until the early 20th century. With protection, the species increased.

Credits

Range Map Help

Razorbill Range Map
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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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