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, common name for a member of the family Alcidae (alcid family), swimming and diving birds of the N Atlantic and Pacific, which includes the guillemots and puffins. Their legs are set far back on their bodies, making them clumsy on land, where they seldom venture except to
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(Alle alle also little auk, a bird of the family Alcidae of the order Charadriiformes. It measures approximately 25 cm long and weighs about 150 g. The coloration is black above and white below.
The dovekie is distributed in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean and the western part of the Arctic Ocean and spends most of the year in the ocean. It nests in large colonies along rock coasts in the arctic. In the USSR it nests in Novaia Zemlia, Franz Josef Land, and Severnaia Zemlia. The eggs (usually one, some-times two) are deposited directly on the ground beneath rocks. The bird feeds on small marine invertebrates. It is of local commercial importance for its meat.