Farne and Staple Islands - SydsPics
Wee hole in the clouds - Lofoten
Powered by SmugMug Log In

All in the Eye! - Razorbill, Farne Islands

A close-up of a Razorbill on the inner Farne island. I love the unique patter in their eyes.
The razorbill (Alca torda) is a colonial seabird that comes to land only to breed. This agile bird chooses one partner for life; females lay one egg per year. In the early 20th century, razorbills were harvested for eggs, meat and feathers. This greatly decreased the global population. In 1917, they were finally protected by the “Migratory Bird Treaty Act” which reduced hunting. They are still threatened by oil pollution which can damage their breeding sites. Commercial fishing also affects populations because razorbills can become tangled in nets. Overfishing also decreases the abundance of razorbill prey and thus affects their survival.