My recent post about Guillemots told you about some of my work on Skomer, this post is about some more of this work that is focussed on Razorbills. The work is almost the same with these birds- I spend many an hour looking at cliffs and mapping nests to follow their progress and determine what proportion of birds successfully rear a chick and how many survive to fledging. And this overlap of work comes from the huge similarities of these birds. They are both stocky seabirds, along with puffins labelled as auks, that nest on rocky shores and raise a single chick each year before disappearing back out to sea for the rest of the year.


Razorbills have striking white stripes along their bill, which is also much deeper than the needle like bill of the Guilly. They also behave much differently, where the Guillemot nest in dense colonies on cliff faces the Razorbill like to spread out and nest in ones and twos on the cliff face and amongst boulders on the coastal slopes. And when you spend hours watching these birds live you start to appreciate the finer differences between these birds. A Guillemot will bring its chick a single fish which is chosen by size and gets bigger as the chick grows and can eat larger prey. Razorbill adults bring in small beakfulls of fish, in a similar fashion to Puffins but not quite as skillfully, that also increase as the chick ages but remain much smaller than the Guillemot baby food!


And the final character of the Razorbill is the amazing yellow that fills the inside of the mouth. When resting, the birds tend to slightly open their bills and sit with their head tipped back like the bird above.

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  1. Another Season | YatesPhotographic

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