A photo of a Thick-billed Murre (Uria lomvia)
Thick-billed Murre

Thick-billed Murre

Uria lomvia

The thick-billed murre or Brünnich's guillemot (Uria lomvia) is a bird in the auk family (Alcidae). 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.
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Thick-billed Murres on Birda



A map showing the sighting location
Robin Mantel
Friday 28 Apr 2023 - 11:36am
A map showing the sighting location
Alice Young
Tuesday 25 Apr 2023 - 12:30pm
A photo of a Brünnich's Guillemot photographed in Vardø--Hornøya Norway
Abel Busz
Sunday 19 Mar 2023 - 12:58pm
A map showing the sighting location
Profile picture for Zac Peterson
Zac Peterson
Sunday 18 Dec 2022 - 8:30am
United States
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