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|Image Info||Original File Name: Brunnich\'s Guillemot or Thick-billed Murre, Uria lomvia_1_1.jpg Resolution: 1280x853 File Size: 219991 Bytes Date: 2003:05:30 13:58:45 Upload Time: 2007:10:12 15:02:30|
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|Subject||Brünnich's Guillemot (Uria lomvia) - Wiki|
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Brünnich's Guillemot (Uria lomvia) - Wiki
The Brünnich's Guillemot, or Thick-billed Murre, Uria lomvia, is a bird in the auk family. The very deeply black North Pacific subspecies Uria lomvia arra is also called Pallas' Murre after its describer.
It breeds on coasts and islands in the high Arctic of Europe, Asia and North America. It is one of the most numerous bird species in the High Arctic.
These birds breed in large colonies on coastal cliffs, their single egg being laid directly on a cliff ledge. They move south in winter into northernmost areas of the north Atlantic and Pacific, but only to keep in ice-free waters. The larger size of this species makes it less prone than the Little Auk to be carried further south by late autumn storms, and they are consequently rare in temperate latitudes.
At 40-44 cm in length, with a 64-75 cm wingspan, this species is only marginally larger than the closely related Common Guillemot.
Adult birds are black on the head, neck, back and wings with white underparts. The bill is long and pointed. They have a small rounded black tail. The lower face becomes white in winter. They differ from Common Guillemot in their thicker bill, darker back and white gape stripe. In winter, there is less white on the face.
The Brunnich's Guillemot's flight is strong and direct, and they have fast wing beats due to the short wings. They look shorter than Common Guillemot in flight. These birds forage for food like other auks, by using their wings to swim underwater. They are accomplished divers, reaching depths of over 140 m and diving for over four minutes at a time. Adults mainly eat invertebrates and a few fish. Adults provision their chicks with fish, squid, some crustaceans and other small invertebrates. They carry these prey items to their chicks, one at a time, in their bill.
This species produces a variety of harsh cackling calls at the breeding colonies, but is silent at sea.
This bird is named after the Danish zoologist Morten Thrane Brünnich.
Intensive egg harvesting and hunting of adult birds are important threats in Newfoundland and Greenland. In the Barentsee it is now reduced to local influences associated to polar stations in Russia. Fisheries may be a threat, but due to their ability to utilise alternative food sources the effect of over-fishing is not as much as on the common guillemots. Pollution of oil and gas exploitation exerts a serious threat. It's one of the seabirds most sensitive to these influences. Gas condensate and oil deposit can be of great harm. Incidental mortality in fishing gear is also important (Vidar Bakken, Irina V. Pokrovskaya, 2000).
Climate change is also considered to be a threat for this Arctic-breeding species. Populations at the southern edge of their range switched from feeding on ice-associated Arctic cod to warmer-water capelin. Dates for egg-laying advanced with the earlier disappearance of ice. The number of chicks produced is lower in warmer years. In especially warm years, mosquitoes and heat kill many of the male birds.
Status in Europe south of the breeding range
Brunnich's Guillemot is a rare vagrant in European countries south of the breeding range. In Britain, over 30 individuals have been recorded, but over half of these were tideline corpses. Of those that were seen alive, only three have remained long enough to be seen by large numbers of observers. All three were in Shetland ??? winter individuals in February 1987 and November/December 2005, and a bird in an auk colony in summer 1989 (the 1989 and 2005 birds were both found by the same observer, Martin Heubeck).
Brünnich's Guillemot has been recorded once in Ireland, and has also been recorded in The Netherlands.
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