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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 ?
Experimental field work was conducted at two locations: Thick-billed Murres were studied at Coats Island, Northwest Territories, Canada (62 [degrees] 57[minutes] N, 82 [degrees] 00[minutes] W), during 1994 and 1995; Razorbills at the Gannet Islands, Labrador, Canada (53 [degrees] 56[minutes] N, 56 [degrees] 32[minutes] W) in 1996 and 1997.
NUMBERS DOWN A cormorant pictured by Kevin O'Hara HEAD WARDEN Farne Islands' David Steel with razorbill friend
At the RSPB's reserve in Sumburgh Head, Shetland, many guillemots and razorbills appear to have given up any attempt to breed.
The Environment Wales-funded project fitted tiny GPS devices - in the style of a TomTom - to razorbills and kittiwakes on Bardsey and has already revealed surprising data.
Shags, eider ducks, guillemots and razorbills, have all done well.
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.
Thousands of young razorbills, puffins and guillemots are flightless and dispersing widely in the North Sea during late summer.
As well as getting great views of puffins, visitors are also likely to see sandwich terns diving for fish alongside the boat, as well as gannets and thousands of guillemots and razorbills nesting on the cliffs.
Look out too for herons, peregrine falcons, wheatears, warblers and little owls, as well as sea birds such as gannets, razorbills and shags.
Emaciated seabirds found dead on East Coast beaches this year include fulmars, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes.
Up to 14,000 personnel in 40 warships and scores of aircraft and landing craft from 12 NATO stations are involved in the area that supports many puffins, razorbills, guillemots, and kittiwakes.
Among the wildlife depending on the area for homes and food are dozens of species of sea birds, including guillemots, razorbills, cormorants, three kinds of hawks, and the manx shearwater, of which half the world's population nests on the islands off the Pembrokeshire coast.