razorbill

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Related to Alca torda: Razorbills

razorbill

, razor-billed auk
a common auk, Alca torda, of the North Atlantic, having a thick laterally compressed bill with white markings

Razorbill

 

(Alca torda), a bird of the family Alcidae of the order Charadriiformes. Alca is the only genus. The bird’s back and head are blackish-brown, and the belly is white. Body length, 41-48 cm. The bill is high, laterally compressed, and has a white transverse stripe. The razorbill is found in the northern parts of the Atlantic Ocean; in the USSR it lives on the shores of the Barents and White seas, and in isolated cases, on Lake Ladoga. It nests in coastal rocks; both parents sit 35-36 days on the single egg. The diet consists of small fish. Razorbills winter in the sea. They are cautious birds and excellent swimmers and divers.