Saturday, January 12, 2013

Searching for Razorbills: On the Cutting Edge of Birding

Our sons had sent us notices around Christmas that folks along the Florida coasts were spotting Razorbills. These are cold-water ocean birds that are related to auks. They are only found along the Atlantic (with no Pacific counterparts) and their range goes only as far south as Maine on our side of the pond and Morocco on the other in the winter. Well, for reasons unknown, they decided to be snowbirds this year and winter in Florida. The red markings on the map below shows sightings of razorbills this winter. The blue were formerly the only documented sightings in the South. The map is from eBird, a website for birders created and updated by Cornell.

This website has lots of photos, of various seabirds in Miami and some really fine ones of flocks of razorbills.  Incidentally, a flock of razorbills is called an "edge."

So when we went to the coast we looked for razorbills.
And we actually found one on St. George Island. It was an immature one, dead on the beach.

1 comment:

lucille_allen said...

Well that is very sad! I wonder if Hurricane Sandy blew them down south! Hopefully the majority of those sighted were alive and well and will continue to be! Happy New Year!