Coastal Birds

This page contains some image mix of coastal birds from the north.

Most stem from Iceland or the Scandinavian and Scottish coast.

Birds that are presented on this page are:

Puffin, Shag, Hering Gull, Great black-backed Gull, Northern Fulmar, Razorbill and Brunnich's Guillemot.

Left a Puffin in Iceland - Enjoy it!

The coasts of northern Europe are home of the Puffin. They take part in the large bird breeding communities. Puffins dig small caves under the earth for their brood. They catch fishes in long diving cycles. Outside the breeding period they live on the open ocean. (up)

Shags are a bit smaller than Cormorants.

They live from Marokko up to the North Cape.

They prefer rocky coast lines with rich structure.

Breeding period is March till May. Both parents change while brooding. The egg is placed on the swimming foots.

Shag's food are fishes which they catch when diving. They may dive up to 20 m deep. When in the water shags really get totally wet skin.

After diving, they need to dry their feathers. When doing that they open their wings for better effect.

Because they get totally wet, they don't have much buoyancy when diving. (up)

Both pictures are from Scotland

The Herring Gull lives as well at the coast lines as also in country regions far away from the sea. Nearly everywhere large populations are possible. The Herring Gull is the most wide spread large gull in Europe. Wing span about 150 cm. Breeding April to July. In coastal areas they build large breeding colonies but they also may place the nest on roofs. Herring Gulls are eating nearly everything and highly adaptable. (up)

The Great Black-backed Gull is a large Goose sized Gull. Wing span up to 170 cm. An European and an American species exists. They eat nearly everything including thieving excursions to other bird's nests. Crabs are thrown to rocks from high elevations in order to smash the body shields. Breeding in May and June. The young gulls start flying after about 8 weeks. (up)

Northern Fulmar in Scotland. The Fulmar easyly may be confused with gulls. But the style of flying is totally diffent. Gulls fly with slow rowing movements and phases of sailing in between. The Fulmar holds the wings totally streched out and follows very elegant the rising and sinking of the waves. Wing beats are quick and short.

For defense reason, the bird may spit some bad smelling stomach substance well directed up to distances of 100 cm.

At an age of 50 days, the chickens controlled fall down the rocks and try to reach the water. Still unable to fly, they eat plankton. (up)

Razorbill resting . One may meet them from France up to the high north. When flying, the wings move nearly as fast as insect wings. Their walk is upright similar like penguins. They are just able to land on the water, always with the head in front and partly diving under water. No starts from land places, exept from sea shore rocks. Razorbills feed their chickens with small fish, which they catch and bring fish by fish from distances up to 20 km.

Brunnich's Guillemots are a bit taller and not that dainty like the standard Guillemots. Occurence in Iceland, Greenland and North Amerika. A single egg is brooded by both parents between 30 - 35 days. It is taken between the swim foots. At an age of 20 days the young cubs let them controlled fall down the rocks. Not all survive. Those who are alive try to reach the water and start diving for food. (up)

View on a typical bird rock. A lot of different bird species are watchable. Such colonies produce some impressive Bachground noise. Different levels are typical for different birds. At the top the Puffins are breeding. (up)

Navigation: Bird select, Pages: Ruff, Avocet - Black-winged Stilt, Stork - Seagull,
Redshank - Little ringrd Plover
, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing - Spotted Redshank,
Great White Egret
Last Update: August 2005 - send me an email
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