A Record High for Razorbills

4 Raz Baby

A little chick keeping  warm and protected by it’s parent (Carrie Gunn)

 

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Another adult keeping watch, whilst the other is tucked in a small crevice  incubating.

Sunday 10th comments: Today we reveal the Razorbill count and it’s another good result.  The numbers of Razorbill are on the up and we are now finding them in places that we haven’t in recent years.  The number of pairs has increased by 12% on last years count to 3,570, representing the highest ever of count of Razorbills on the May.  This is great news when the UK holds 20% of the worlds population of this charismatic seabird.

These smart Auks can be easily overlooked, especially as they lay their egg in a small crevice or ledge on the cliff amongst big groups of Guillemots and Kittiwakes.  Some will even nest in boulders quietly away from prying eyes.  As with the Guillemot the chick will jump off the cliff, called down by it’s parent (usually the male) and then both will swim off to sea. Over the coming weeks the chicks will develop their flights feathers and start learning to dive and catch fish, finding out what life as a Razorbill is like.

They usually won’t start breeding until they are around four years old, but younger birds will often come ashore to gain experience of a colony prior to breeding. They can live for over fourty years and have just one chick every year. Like Puffins, Razorbills are also capable of catching several fish at once, owing to the small spikes on the roof of the mouth that keep the fish in place.

It’s great to be able to bring some good news stories about the seabirds, long may it continue!

 

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