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Common Murre

The birds of genus Uria are known as guillemots or in North America, as murres. Genus Uria comes under auk family Alcidae. There are two species under genus Uria, which are given below:

These species are closely related to Little Auk, the extinct Great Auk and Razorbill. They together form the tribe called Alcini. On the other hand, the Cepphus guillemots, despite their name are not closely related to the Uria auks. Instead they form the tribe Cepphini.

These birds are medium in size with brown or black plumage during breeding season. The adult birds have brown or black color on back, head, neck and wings, while have white underparts. Their lower face becomes white in winter. They have a long, pointed bill and a small rounded black tail.

Uria auks are colonial birds. They breed in large colonies on the coastal cliffs of the northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. A female bird lays one egg on the cliff ledges directly. Their eggs are elongated and conical in shape. These birds move to south during winters to stay away fron icy water. Thick Billed Murre

Uria auks catch their prey by diving into water. They dive from the surface and also swim underwater to catch their food. These birds feed primarily on fish and crustaceans. They also eat some plant material, insects and molluscs.

These species have short wings, which they beat so fast while flying. They display a strong and direct flight. These birds seem silent at sea, but make harsh cackling calls at their breeding colonies.