Michelle Barton and Chris Anderson shepherded this little seabird back to the water after it was seen blown into a telephone pole and onto the ground. Many thanks to Chris and Michelle for taking care of the Arctic voyager and for sharing their photos..
Just like the Razorbill spotted earlier in the month, Thick-billed Murres are members of the Auk family. They are deep sea divers and seen off the coast of New England during the winter months. Thick-billed Murres are occasionally blown onto shore during intense storms.
I read that Thick-billed Murres have very pointy eggs and wanted to see what one looked like. Don’t you think they are beautiful? I love the shape, and patterns. Image courtesy Audubon.
Monday afternoon at Good Harbor Beach I found the little Razorbill washed ashore, up between the ice sheets at the high tide line. Thanks so much to Mike for sharing his story about the Razorbills he saw at the Dogbar Breakwater last week. I could identify it immediately because of Mike’s sighting. I hope so much the other Razorbill is surviving 🙂
I left him by the footbridge in case anyone else would like to see the Razorbill.
Pat Morss writes,
In response to Mike’s sighting of Razorbills at the Dog Breakwater – exciting, Anne-Lise and I and family were in Norway last June to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 100th birthday and our 50th wedding anniversary. We took a side trip north of the Arctic Circle to the Lofoten Islands. On the island of Ross, we took a zodiak trip out to the “bird mountain” rookeries including Razorbills and Black-legged Kitttiwakes.
Thanks so very much to Pat Morss for sharing the baby Harp Seal photos and story, and now the Razorbill photos. I think it wonderful for us to see the connection between these beautiful creatures visiting the shores of Cape Ann and their Arctic breeding grounds.
Many, many thanks to reader Mike for sharing his amazing sighting of two Razorbills. He writes the following,
“Hi Kim. I was out on the Dogbar Breakwater yesterday afternoon. I didn’t see any Snowy Owls, but I did spot 2 Razorbills. I’d never seen one before, so it was quite exciting. There was a flurry of activity in the water as 2 loons harassed one of the Razorbills. They wore him down and then a large sea gull attacked and tried to kill the Razorbill pecking at his head. He dove and swam far enough away the gull lost track of him in the small chop.
Interesting to see the White Line across it’s backside and the white under the wings. I witnessed one of the Razorbills swimming underwater from the height of the rocks at the end of the breakwater, the bird appeared to be “flying” underwater and I thought it had tiny wings as I could only see the white portion of the wings in the darkness of the water. It swam similar to a Penguin underwater. Another couple also saw the Razorbill swim underwater and the three of us were surprised at distance the bird covered in such a short time.
On my way to the breakwater, I asked a young couple returning to the parking lot, if they had seen any cool critters. They said they saw an injured bird that was something like a Puffin or Penguin just inside the breakwater, at the edge of the shore. They said the bird made it’s way into the water as they approached. They had a frontal top view of the bird with their smartphone, but it was unclear as to what it was. I’m guessing that’s the same Razorbill I saw being attacked by the sea gull. Nature has a way of weeding out the weak and injured, but he escaped to live another day !!
I also saw around a dozen Common Eiders, 2 Surf Scoters, couple mergansers, 6 Buffleheads and 4 light brown ducks I would guess to be Gadwalls by the elegant patterns of breast feathers swimming along the shore inside the breakwater. Great sightings on a wonderful warm day!!”
I just read on the Audubon website that the Razorbill is probably the closest living relative of the extinct Great Auk. How interesting is that! I’ve never seen a Razorbill but will most certainly be on the lookout. Thanks so much again to Mike.
All images courtesy wikicommonsmedia.