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a genus of birds of the family Alcidae. The body is 30–35 cm long with a weight of 450–500 g. The tall, brightly colored bill is highly compressed. The back is black, and the lower part of the body white; the feet are orange-red. Fratercula walk, fly, swim, and dive well. Their diet consists of small fish and marine invertebrates. The birds nest in groups or colonies along steep seacoasts; a single egg is deposited in a deep burrow dug in soft ground, under rocks, or in cliff crevices. The nestling is covered with a long, soft, dense down; it leaves the nest completely feathered. F. arctica inhabits the North Atlantic eastward to Novaia Zemlia; F. corniculata inhabits the northern Pacific coasts.