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Thick-Billed Murre Video Stock Footage
Since the extinction of the great auk in the mid-19th century, the murres are the largest living members of the Alcidae. 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 736–1,481 g (26.0–52.2 oz). The Pacific race (U. l. arra) is larger than the Atlantic race, especially in bill dimensions. 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 th...
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