Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The variation of appearances of our seabirds




I've featured this bird before on the blog. This Guillemot has a very distinctive orange bill and feet. This bird has returned to the same cliff for at least the last 5 years and is a Fluke Street resident favourite. This lack of pigment is uncommon in auks.

I've taken a few pictures of birds with an abnormal appearance.  This can be caused by birds having a genetic mutation, a hormone imbalance or simply bought on by old age. We get up to quater of a millions birds on our small island so we spot a few interesting ones annually.


This puffin is still in winter plumage. We'll see a few of these birds during the season. Some birds retain just a  little black feathering around the face.


A lot of puffins have a degree of white on their backs but this bird that hangs out around the South Horn shows quite a lot!



Even female Eiders can be quite variable with differing degrees of darkness but this bird stood out with its very pale speckled head.

 

This is not a great quality picture but this shows an drake Eider that I saw this spring. It looks more like a
juvenile with an adult bill. It behaved like an adult drake chasing females and calling! I'm not sure he will have tempted any females with that dowdy appearance!










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