Wild Harris

Razorbill

Razorbill 4 CReddick.jpgRazorbill    (Photo: Cliff Reddick)

The razorbill belongs to a group of birds called auks. Guillemots and puffins are also in this group. They have chunky bodies and small wings – good for diving but not so good for flying.

The big, black and white beak gives it its name, and this is what it uses to catch fish. It has a shuffling walk when it is on land, and makes a strange creaking noise.

Razorbill 2 CReddick.jpgRazorbill    (Photo: Cliff Reddick)

It nests on wide ledges on sea cliffs, but the biggest colonies are found in boulder piles at the base of sea cliffs.

Razorbill 3 CReddick.jpgRazorbill    (Photo: Cliff Reddick)

From their nest they fly out to sea to feed. They dive down to catch fish – usually they catch fish in the top 20 metres of water, but they have been seen by divers in the North Sea hundreds of feet below the surface!

by Alison Tyler