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Razorbill, North East Scotland
Razorbill, North East Scotland
Razorbill sites cared for by the Trust
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Mingulay, Berneray and Pabbay

Mingulay, Berneray & Pabbay

10% of the EU population of Razorbills can be found on Mingulay/Berneray

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Typically a species of northern and western coasts, the largest colony in Scotland is at Mingulay and Berneray with some 10% of the EU population.

Other large colonies are to be found at Fair Isle, Caithness and Handa Island. While normally nesting in crevices scattered amongst other seabirds, a single cliff face at the west end of Berneray is home to almost 5000 pairs. Predation by brown rats (at Canna) and American Mink at other sites is known to have reduced numbers.

Food

Dives normally to 2-3m but can dive deeper. Chiefly fish (sand eels) with some invertebrates. Submersion not more than 22s (maximum 40-52s).

Nest site

Rock ledges and crevices beneath rock overhang; sometimes uses old rabbit or puffin burrow.

Breeding

Mid April to mid June where 1 egg is laid and very rarely 2.

Wintering

Northern populations are mainly migratory. Scottish population south west Norway where they feed and moult, Bay of Biscay, Morocco and western Mediterranean.

Distribution

Dives normally to 2-3m but can dive deeper. Chiefly fish (sand eels) with some invertebrates. Submersion not more than 22s (maximum 40-52s).

Other Information

The distinctive broad bills are supposed to resemble old-fahioned razors.

Other Auk family birds at Trust sites