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



(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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Another bird which you might occasionally spot in the Tees estuary is the razorbill, which is very slightly smaller than a guillemot which has a larger head and a much thicker bill.
Young murres and Razorbills that achieve the greatest horizontal distance during the glide from the nest site (usually located high on a cliff) to sea are those least likely to be injured or killed by striking ledges or rocks en route (Birkhead and Nettleship 1987).
A Research Officer for the RSPB said: "Since the rat eradication, the number of guillemots and razorbills has increased, and puffin numbers have also increased slowly."
Between them Skomer and Skokholm are home to more than 20,000 puffins as well as around 28,000 guillemots and 9,000 razorbills, making up the most important colony of cliff-nesting seabirds in southern Britain.
NUMBERS DOWN A cormorant pictured by Kevin O'Hara HEAD WARDEN Farne Islands' David Steel with razorbill friend
Places that once teemed with guillemots, kittiwakes and razorbills were virtually deserted last week.
This year's results included just one juvenile kittiwake and a headless razorbill along the Bridgend coastline but several dead razorbills were also found at Southerndown in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Species including puffins, Manx shearwaters, guillemots and razorbills should benefit from the measure agreed by Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant.
It is hoped that an extensive GPS-tagging project by RSPB Cymru on Bardsey Island in North Wales, which focused on internationally-significant populations of kittiwakes and razorbills, can shed light on why Welsh populations have thrived while numbers elsewhere in the UK have collapsed.
"Thousands of young razorbills, puffins and guillemots are flightless and dispersing widely in the North Sea during late summer.
They will zoom in on puffins, razorbills and guillemots.
The island's new-found status will ensure the future of 40,000 pairs of breeding gannets and it will also become a haven for guillemots, razorbills and puffins.