The Razorbill

September 12, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The Razorbill (Alca torda) is a colonial seabird that only comes to land in order to breed. This agile bird chooses one partner for life; females lay one egg per year. Razorbills nest along coastal cliffs in enclosed or slightly exposed crevices. The parents spend equal amounts of time incubating. Once the chick has hatched, the parents take turns foraging for their young and sometimes fly long distances before finding prey. The razorbill is primarily black with a white underside. The male and female are identical in plumage; however, males are generally larger than females. In 1918, the razorbill was protected in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Presently, the major threat for the population is the destruction of breeding sites. It is truly a regal looking bird. I took these photos on an Island 9 miles of the coast of Maine.

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