Overview

Brief Summary

Uria lomvia

A medium-sized (17-19 inches) auk, the Thick-billed Murre in summer is most easily identified by its black back and head, white breast, and black spear-shaped bill with a thick white stripe along both sides. During the winter, this species becomes paler gray on the neck and face. This species may be separated from the related Common Murre (Uria aalge) by that species’ thinner all-black bill and from the Razorbill (Alca torda) by that species’ much thicker bill. Male and female Razorbills are similar to one another in all seasons. The Thick-billed Murre breeds along the coasts of Alaska, northern Canada, northern Europe, and Siberia. This species spends the winter at sea, extending south from its breeding range as far as the Mid-Atlantic region, the Pacific Northwest, Britain, and northern Japan. Individuals may appear further south or inland from this species’ typical winter range after large storms. Thick-billed Murres breed in large seabird colonies on cliffs on islands or along rocky northern coasts. During the winter, this species is usually seen far out to sea on the open ocean, although vagrants blown inland may appear on other large bodies of water, such as bays, estuaries, or reservoirs. Thick-billed Murres primarily eat small fish. During the breeding season, birdwatchers have found that Thick-billed Murres are most easily observed from boats at the base of large seabird colonies. During the winter, this species may be observed from ships far out to sea or, if from shore, only during large storms with the use of high-power optics. Thick-billed Murres are mainly active during the day.

Threat Status: Least concern

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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDS: islands, coasts in Arctic of North America and Eurasia. In North America south to Aleutian and Kodiak islands, Hudson Bay, and Gulf of St. Lawrence. WINTERS: Newfoundland waters comprise the most important wintering area in the western Atlantic. In North America south to southeastern Alaska and southern New England (AOU 1983).

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North America; range extends throughout the Canadian Atlantic
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Range Description

This species has a circumpolar distribution in the arctic and high arctic regions of North America, Europe and Asia breeding on coasts and islands. It breeds as far south as the Kuril Islands (Russia), Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada) and Alaska (USA), and also winters off the coast of central Japan1.
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Arctic, Northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Both coasts of northern North America, open waters around northern Europe, sometimes to coasts of England and northwest Europe.
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 46 cm

Weight: 964 grams

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Length: 43-48 cm, Wingspan: 71-81 cm
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Nonbreeding: mostly pelagic, less frequently along rocky coasts (AOU 1983). Tends to occupy deeper waters and areas farther offshore than does common murre (Johnsgard 1987).

Nests on narrow ledges or, less often, in crevices and caves, on steep sea cliffs and offshore islands (Harris and Birkhead 1985); generally more abundant on islands than on mainland coasts (Johnsgard 1987). Usually uses same nest site in successive yrs.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The Thick-billed Guillemot is exclusively marine ranging along sea coasts and as far offshore as the continental shelf edge. It feeds chiefly on fish, squid and crustaceans throughout the year, supplemented by polychaetes and molluscs. Fish predominate during summer with the main species varying with locality and are usually caught close to the colony. Birds arrive at colonies in the spring though the start of laying is variable depending on sea temperature, laying latest where the temperatures are lowest (e.g. early July in the high Arctic). It is a highly colonial, usually forming immense aggregations on sea cliffs laying on narrow ledges. The extent and timing of post-breeding dispersal is largely determined by ice conditions and food availability. During the winter periods it can be found in large flocks at sea, likely related to the non-random distribution of winter prey (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 6578 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 3889 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): -1.109 - 18.183
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.703 - 10.275
  Salinity (PPS): 26.569 - 35.972
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.527 - 9.061
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.138 - 1.130
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.565 - 7.335

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): -1.109 - 18.183

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.703 - 10.275

Salinity (PPS): 26.569 - 35.972

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.527 - 9.061

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.138 - 1.130

Silicate (umol/l): 0.565 - 7.335
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Cold oceanic waters and sea cliffs.
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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Birds from eastern North America arctic migrate to Newfoundland either directly or via western Greenland; birds from European arctic move southwest toward western Greenland. Arrives on breeding grounds in Greenland in April (low arctic) - May or June (high arctic), departs mid-August to early September (Evans 1984). See Brown (1985) and Johnsgard (1987) for more information on migration and breeding areas of specific wintering populations.

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Some move to southern parts of range for winter, others remain near edges of pack ice.
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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Dives underwater from surface, feeds on fishes (average about 10 cm, often benthic species) and crustaceans, to lesser extent polychaetes and molluscs. Chicks are fed mainly fishes, also invertebrates. Forages up to 175 km from colony in some areas. Dives up to 210 m, but usually 40 m or less (Croll et al. 1992).

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Consumes mainly fish, adds crustaceans in winter, also feeds on marine worms and squid.
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Population Biology

Global Abundance

>1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Censuses in the 1970s and early 1980s yielded an estimate of about 1.5 million breeding pairs in eastern Canada (12,000-13,000 in Newfoundland-Labrador-Gulf of St. Lawrence). Gaston (in Hyslop and Kennedy 1992) estimated that about 2 million breed in the vicinity of Hudson Strait, Canada.

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General Ecology

Annual adult survival was estimated at 91% in northeastern Canada (Hudson 1985), 86-90% at Coats Island, Northwest Territories; the latter population was subject to heavy hunting in the wintering area; survival rate of young from departure to age three years was estimated at 52% (Gaston et al. 1994).

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Foraging dives are mainly nocturnal (Croll et al. 1992).

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 29 years (wild) Observations: One individual banded as an adult was recovered 25 years later, making it at least 29 years-old (http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/).
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Reproduction

Egg dates vary with location and ice conditions (mean laying date in mid-June in western Gulf of Alaska). Both sexes incubate 1 egg for 25-40 days (mode about 32-34). Young is fed at the nest by both sexes for 16-35 days (average 23), then goes to sea, tended by adult (frequently the male) for a few weeks. First breeds usually at an age of 3-6 years (Gaston et al. 1994). At Coats Island, Northwest Territories, reproductive success increased with age to at least nine years (Gaston et al. 1994).

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Breeds at more than 3 years old. Nests in large colonies on cliffs. No nest is built (uses bare rock). 1 egg, incubated by both partners for 30-35 days. Both parents feed hatchling. Young leaves nest before capable of flight and is tended by the male.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Uria lomvia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 10
Specimens with Barcodes: 16
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Uria lomvia

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 10 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

GGCACCCTGTACCTAATCTTCGGSGCATGAGCKGGTATAGTTGGTACCGCCCTA---AGCCTGCTCATCCGCGCAGAACTAGGCCAACCAGGGACCCTCCTAGGAGAC---GACCAAATCTATAACGTAATCGTCACCGCCCACGCCTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATCATAATCGGTGGTTTCGGGAACTGATTAGTCCCACTCATA---ATTGGTGCACCCGATATAGCATTCCCCCGTATAAACAATATAAGCTTCTGACTACTACCCCCATCATTCCTACTCCTCCTAGCCTCTTCCACAGTAGAAGCTGGAGCTGGTACAGGATGGACTGTATATCCTCCCCTAGCCGGTAATCTAGCTCATGCCGGGGCTTCAGTGGACTTA---GCAATCTTCTCCCTTCACTTAGCAGGTGTATCATCTATCCTAGGTGCTATCAACTTTATTACAACAGCCATCAACATAAAACCTCCAGCCCTCTCACAATACCAAACCCCCCTATTTGTATGATCAGTCCTTATCACTGCCGTCCTACTACTACTCTCACTCCCAGTACTTGCTGCT---GGCATCACTATACTACTAACAGATCGAAACCTAAACACAACATTCTTCGACCCAGCCGGAGGTGGTGACCCAGTACTATATCAACACCTCTTCTGATTCTTTGGTCACCCAGAAGTATACATCCTAATTCTACCCGGCTTCGGAATTATCTCCCATGTCGTAACCTACTATGCAGGAAAAAAA---GAACCATTCGGCTACATAGGAATAGTATGAGCCATATTATCCATCGGCTTCCTAGGTTTCATCGTATGGGCTCACCACATATTTACTGTAGGAATAGACGTAGATACCCGAGCCTACTTTACATCCGCCACCATAATCATTGCTATTCCCACTGGCATCAAAGTATTCAGCTGACTA---GCCACA
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4B,N5N : N4B: Apparently Secure - Breeding, N5N: Secure - Nonbreeding

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5B,N5N : N5B: Secure - Breeding, N5N: Secure - Nonbreeding

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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No official conservation status, but large recent declines may suggest cause for concern. Still quite abundant.
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Population

Population
The global population is estimated to number > c.22,000,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996), while the population is Russia has been estimated at c.10,000-1 million breeding pairs (Brazil 2009).

Population Trend
Increasing
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Threats

Comments: Possibly declined at Digges Sound and perhaps at Akpatok Island between the 1950s and 1980s, perhaps due to overharvest and mortality in nets. Major declines that have occurred over past few decades in Greenland were due mainly to overhunting and mortality in the gill-net fishery (Evans 1984). On islands off Labrador, colonizing arctic foxes eliminated breeding populations of thick-billed murres (Birkhead and Nettleship 1995). Many are killed in the Japanese gill-net fishery in the North Pacific (Lensink 1984, King 1984).

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Management

Management Requirements: See Evans and Nettleship (1985) for research and management recommendations.

Management Research Needs: See Evans and Nettleship (1985) for research recommendations.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Comments: Harvested for food in huge numbers (at least hundreds of thousands) by residents of Newfoundland and Greenland; mainly shot in winter (Evans 1984; Falk and Durinck, 1992, Arctic 45:167-178).

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Wikipedia

Thick-billed Murre

The thick-billed murre or Brünnich's guillemot (Uria lomvia) is a bird in the auk family (Alcidae). This bird is named after the Danish zoologist Morten Thrane Brünnich. The very deeply black North Pacific subspecies Uria lomvia arra is also called Pallas' murre after its describer.

Description[edit]

Head color in breeding plumage is identical in all Brünnich's guillemots

Since the extinction of the great auk in the mid-19th century, the murres are the largest living members of the Alcidae.[2] The thick-billed murre and the closely related common guillemot (or common murre, U. aalge) are similarly-sized, but the thick-billed still bests the other species in both average and maximum size. The thick-billed murre measures 40–48 cm (16–19 in) in total length, spans 64–81 cm (25–32 in) across the wings and weighs 736-1481 g (1.6-3.3 lb).[3][4][5] The Pacific race (U. l. arra) is larger than the Atlantic race, especially in bill dimensions.[6]

Adult birds are black on the head, neck, back and wings with white underparts. The bill is long and pointed. They have a small rounded black tail. The lower face becomes white in winter. This species produces a variety of harsh cackling calls at the breeding colonies, but is silent at sea.

They differ from the common murre in their thicker, shorter bill with white gape stripe and their darker head and back; the "bridled" morph is unknown in U. lomvia - a murre has either a white eye-stripe, or a white bill-stripe, or neither, but never both; it may be that this is character displacement, enabling individual birds to recognize conspecifics at a distance in the densely packed breeding colonies as the bridled morph is most common by far in North Atlantic colonies where both species of guillemots breed. In winter, there is less white on the thick-billed murre's face. They look shorter than the common murre in flight. First year birds have smaller bills than adults and the white line on the bill is often obscure, making the bill an unreliable way to identify them at this age. The head pattern is the best way to distinguish first-year birds from common murres.[7]

Distribution[edit]

The thick-billed murre is distributed across the polar and sub-polar regions of the Northern Hemisphere where four subspecies exist; one lives on the Atlantic and Arctic oceans of North America (U. l. lomvia), another on the Pacific coast of North America (U. l. arra), and two others which inhabit the Russian arctic (U.l.eleorae and U.lhecleri).[8][9]

Habitat[edit]

Thick-billed murres spend all of their lives at sea in waters which remain below 8°C,[8] except during the breeding season where they form dense colonies on cliffs.[8][9]

Breeding[edit]

Breeding colony at Stappen, Bear Island (Norway). Note bill-stripes visible at a distance.

Thick-billed murres form vast breeding colonies, sometimes composed of over a million breeding birds, on narrow ledges and steep cliffs which face the water.[9] They have the smallest territory of any bird,[9] requiring less than one square foot per individual.[8] A breeding pair will lay a single egg each year.[8][10] Despite this, they are one of the most abundant marine birds in the Northern Hemisphere.[9]

Adults perform communal displays early in the breeding season to time their breeding cycles.[8] They do not build nests, but lay the egg directly on bare rock.[8] Both parents are involved in incubating the egg and raising the young.[11][12] Due to the enormous amount of energy needed to take off in flight, adults can only provide one food item at a time to their chick.[9] Chicks spend between 18 to 25 days on the cliffs before leaving for the sea.[8][9] Once ready to leave, the young will await nightfall and jump off the edge towards the water.[9] A parent immediately jumps after and glides within centimeters of the fledgling.[11] At sea, the male and the chick stay together for around 8 weeks during which the adult continues to provide food for the young.[9]

Survival rates of the young is not based on the number of individuals in the colony, but rather on the age of the breeders within the colony.[8] Offspring of inexperienced pairs grow more slowly than those of experienced breeders, possibly because they do not receive as much food from their parents.[10] Also, pairs which contain at least one young breeding bird tend to have lower hatch rates.[13] Older and experienced adults obtain the better nesting sites located in the center of the colony, while the inexperienced individuals are kept on the margins[8] where their young are more likely to be preyed upon.[14]

Migratory patterns[edit]

They move south in winter into northernmost areas of the north Atlantic and Pacific, but only to keep in ice-free waters.

Flight and feeding characteristics[edit]

Vagrant adult in winter plumage, northern South Carolina

The thick-billed murre's flight is strong and direct, and they have fast wing beats due to the short wings. Like the other auks, these birds forage for food by using their wings to 'swim' underwater.[8] They are accomplished divers, reaching depths of up to 150 m and diving for up to four minutes at a time; usually however birds make either shallow short dives or dive down to 21–40 m for longer periods.[15] While hunting, the diving trajectory resembles a flattened 'U'.[15] Birds will make long trips to get to favorite feeding grounds; while they usually forage several dozen km from their nest sites, they often travel more than 100 km to fish.[16][2]

The diving depths and durations regularly achieved by these birds indicate that they, and similar auks, have some—as yet unknown—mechanism to avoid diving sickness and lung collapse when surfacing.[15] It is postulated that auks temporarily absorb excess gases into the vascular structure of their bones. From there, it is gradually released from temporary storage in a controlled process of decompression.

Trophic Linkages[edit]

The nominate race feeds primarily on fish such as Gadus spp. and Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida),[8] as well as the pelagic amphipod Parathemisto libellula.[9] Other fish such as capelin (Mallotus villosus) and Myoxocephalus spp., as well as other crustaceans, polychaetes, and a few molluscs, are found in their diet but in relatively low numbers.[8] When wintering near Newfoundland, capelin can account for over 90 percent of their diet.[8]

Thick-billed murres have few natural predators because the immense number of concentrated birds found on the breeding colonies and the inaccessibility of these breeding sites make it extremely difficult for them to be preyed upon.[8] Their main predator is the glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus), and these feed exclusively on eggs and chicks.[11][14] The common raven (Corvus corax) may also try to obtain eggs and hatchlings when they are left unattended.[8][17]

Status and conservation[edit]

Although declines have been observed in many parts of their range,[8] the thick-billed murre is not a species of concern as the total population is estimated to contain between 15 and 20 million individuals worldwide.[9]

Egg harvesting and hunting of adult birds are major threats in Greenland, where populations fell steeply between the 1960s and 1980s.[18] In the Barents Sea region, the species has declined locally, due to influences associated with polar stations in Russia. Fisheries may be also be a threat, but because thick-billed murres are better able to utilise alternative food sources the effect of over-fishing is not as severe as on the common murre. Pollution from oil at sea exerts another major threat. Murres are among the seabirds most sensitive to oil contamination.[19] Incidental mortality brought on by entanglement with fishing gear is also an important cause of population decline.[20]

Thick-billed murres are closely associated with sea-ice throughout the year.[9] Consequently, some scientists believe that climate change may be a threat to this Arctic-breeding species.[21] However the species seems adaptable. Populations at the southern edge of their range switched from feeding on ice-associated Arctic cod to warmer-water capelin[22] as ice break-up became earlier. Dates for egg-laying advanced with the earlier disappearance of ice. The growth of chicks is slower in years when ice break-up is early relative to egg-laying by the murres. In extremely warm years, mosquitoes and heat kill some breeders.[23]

As a vagrant[edit]

Brünnich's guillemot is a rare vagrant in European countries south of the breeding range. In Britain, over 30 individuals have been recorded, but over half of these were tideline corpses. Of those that were seen alive, only three have remained long enough to be seen by large numbers of observers. All three were in Shetland - winter individuals in February 1987 and November/December 2005, and a bird in an auk colony in summer 1989. The 1989 and 2005 birds were both found by the same observer, Martin Heubeck.

The species has been recorded once in Ireland,[24] and has also been recorded in the Netherlands. In the western Atlantic, they may range as far as Florida,[25] and in the Pacific to California.[2] Before 1950 large numbers appeared on the North American Great Lakes in early winter, passing up the St. Lawrence River from the East coast. Such irruptions have not been seen since 1952.[26]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Uria lomvia". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Nettleship (1996)
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ Gaston & Jones (1998)
  7. ^ Gaston(1984)
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Tuck LM, Canadian Wildlife S. 1960. The Murres; their distribution, populations and biology: A study of the genus Uria. Ottawa: Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, National Parks Branch, Canadian Wildlife Service.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Gaston AJ, Hipfner JM. 2000. Thick-billed Murre (Uria lomvia), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/497doi:10.2173/bna.497
  10. ^ a b Hipfner JM, Gaston AJ. 2002. Growth of nestling Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia) in relation to parental experience and hatching date. Auk 119(3):827-832.
  11. ^ a b c Gaston AJ, Nettleship DN. 1981. The Thick-billed Murres of Prince Leopold Island : A study of the breeding ecology of a colonial high Arctic seabird. Ottawa: Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service.
  12. ^ Paredes R, Jones IL, Boness DJ. 2006. Parental roles of male and female Thick-billed Murres and Razorbills at the Gannet Islands, Labrador. Behaviour 143:451-481.
  13. ^ DeForest LN, Gaston AJ. 1996. The effect of age on timing of breeding and reproductive success in the Thick-billed Murre. Ecology 77(5):1501-1511.
  14. ^ a b Gilchrist HG, Gaston AJ. 1997. Effects of Murre nest site characteristics and wind conditions on predation by Glaucous Gulls. Canadian Journal of Zoology-Revue Canadienne De Zoologie 75(4):518-524.
  15. ^ a b c Croll DA, Gaston AJ, Burger AE, Konnoff D. 1992. Foraging behavior and physiological adaptation for diving in Thick-billed Murres. Ecology 73(1):344-356.
  16. ^ Lilliendahl et al. (2003)
  17. ^ Lepage D, Nettleship DN, Reed A. 1998. Birds of Bylot Island and adjacent Baffin Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, 1979 to 1997. Arctic 51(2):125-141
  18. ^ Evans and Kampp (1991)
  19. ^ Wiese et al. (2003)
  20. ^ Bakken & Pokrovskaya (2000)
  21. ^ Gaston et al. (2005)
  22. ^ Gaston et al. (2003)
  23. ^ Gaston et al. (2002), Parmesan (2006)
  24. ^ "Brünnich's Guillemot in County Wexford - an addition to the Irish list". Irish Birds 3: 601–605. 1988. 
  25. ^ Mullarney, Killian (1998). "FIRST RECORD OF THE THICK-BILLED MURRE FROM FLORIDA". Florida Field Naturalist 3: 88–89. 
  26. ^ Gaston (1988)

References[edit]

  • Bakken, Vidar & Pokrovskaya Irina V. (2000): Brünnich's Guillemot. In: Anker-Nilssen, T.; Bakken, Vidar; Strom, H.; Golovkin, A.N.; Bianki, V.V. & Tatarinkova, I.P. (eds.): The status of marine birds breeding in the Barents sea region. Norwegian Polar Institute Report Series 113: 119-124
  • Croll, Donald A.; Gaston, Anthony J.; Burger, Alan E. & Konnoff, Daniel (1992): Foraging behavior and physiological adaptation for diving in Thick-billed Murres. Ecology 73(1): 344-356. doi:10.2307/1938746 (HTML abstract, first page image)
  • Evans, Peter, G.H & Kampp, K. (1991): Recent changes in Thick-billed Murre populations. In: Gaston, A.J & Elliot, R.D. (eds.): Studies of high-latitude seabirds: 2. Conservation biology of Thick-billed Murres in the Northwestern Atlantic. Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper 69: 7-14.
  • Gaston, Anthony J. (1984): How to distinguish first-year murres, Uria spp., from older birds in winter. Canadian Field-naturalist 98: 52-55.
  • Gaston, Anthony J. (1988): The mystery of the murres: Thick-billed murres, Uria lomvia, in the Great Lakes region, 1890-1986. Canadian Field-naturalist 102: 705-711.
  • Gaston, Anthony J.; Nettleship, David N. (1981): The Thick-billed murres of Prince Leopold Island. Environment Canada, Ottawa. ISBN 0-660-10857-7
  • Gaston, Anthony J.; Jones, Ian L. (1998): The Auks: Alcidae. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 0-19-854032-9
  • Gaston, Anthony J. & Hipfner, J. Mark (2000): The Thick-billed Murre. The Birds of North America Inc., Philadelphia, PA. ISSN 1061-5466
  • Gaston, Anthony J.; Hipfner, J. Mark & Campbell, D. (2003): Heat and mosquitoes cause breeding failures and adult mortality in an Arctic-nesting seabird. Ibis 144: 185-191.
  • Gaston, Anthony J.; Woo, Kerry & Hipfner, J. Mark (2003): Trends in Forage Fish Populations in Northern Hudson Bay since 1981, as Determined from the Diet of Nestling Thick-Billed Murres Uria lomvia [English with French abstract]. Arctic 56(3): 227–233. PDF fulltext
  • Gaston, Anthony J.; Gilchrist, H.G. & Hipfner, J. Mark (2005): Climate change, ice conditions and reproduction in an Arctic nesting marine bird: Brunnich's guillemot (Uria lomvia L.). Journal of Animal Ecology 74(5): 832–841. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2005.00982.x (HTML abstract)
  • Harrison, Peter (1988): Seabirds (2nd ed.). Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7470-1410-8
  • Lilliendahl, K.; Solmundsson, J.; Gudmundsson, G.A. & Taylor, L. (2003): Can surveillance radar be used to monitor the foraging distribution of colonially breeding alcids? [English with Spanish abstract] Condor 105(1): 145–150. DOI: 10.1650/0010-5422(2003)105[145:CSRBUT]2.0.CO;2 HTML abstract
  • National Geographic Society (2002): Field Guide to the Birds of North America. National Geographic, Washington DC. ISBN 0-7922-6877-6
  • Nettleship, David N. (1996): 3. Thick-billed Murre. In: del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (eds.) (1996), Handbook of Birds of the World (Volume 3: Hoatzin to Auks): 710-711, plate 59. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-20-2
  • Parmesan, Camille (2006): Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change. Annu. Rev. Evol. Ecol. Syst. 37: 637–669. doi:10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.37.091305.110100 PDF fulltext
  • Sibley, David Allen (2000): The Sibley Guide to Birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. ISBN 0-679-45122-6
  • Wiese Francis K., Robertson Greg J. & Gaston Anthony J. (2003): Impact of chronic oil pollution and the murre hunt in Newfoundland on the Thick-billed Murre Uria lomvia populations in the eastern Canadian Arctic. Biological Conservation 116: 205–216.
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Comments: An analysis of genetic relationships using amplified DNA revealed two clades, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic; there was no apparent genetic divergence among several populations in the western and eastern Atlantic (Birt-Friesen et al. 1992).

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