Common murre/guillemot (Uria aalge)
Colonies at the bottom of the cliffs in Sunburgh Head (Shetland I., 2013)
Guillemots are 38-45 cm in size. They nest in colonies on cliff edges. Their eggs are pear-shaped so they don´t roll off. The bridled form has a white ring round the eye, which looks like a pair of spectacles (you can see some of them like this if you look closely). The spectacles like form is not a distinct subspecies, but a polymorphism that becomes more common the farther north the birds breed.
The Common Murre or Common Guillemot is a large auk. It is also known as the Thin-billed Murre in North America. It has a circumpolar distribution, occurring in low-Arctic and boreal waters in the North-Atlantic and North Pacific. It spends most of its time at sea, only coming to land to breed on rocky cliff shores or islands.
Common Murres have fast direct flight but are not very agile. They are more manoeuvrable underwater, typically diving to depths of 30–60 m , and depths.. more