Alle alle Linnaeus, 1758, Scotland. Two subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Little auk; French: Mergule nain; German: Krabbentaucher; Spanish: Mйrgulo Atlбntico.
7–8 in (17–20 cm); 4.6–6.7 oz (130–190 g). Small, chubby bird with black head and neck, black upperparts, and white underparts. Short black bill and blackish gray legs and feet.
The breeding territory includes all North Atlantic and Arctic coastlines. Outside the breeding season, dovekies are scattered far over the northern Atlantic; some winter amid the drifting ice.
Rocky coastlines and adjoining seas.
Silent while at sea as an adult, although the young birds have a high-pitched, peeping call. Adults give vent to a short, highpitched trill while at breeding grounds.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Primarily small invertebrates and plankton.
Greenland and Spitsbergen have colonies of dovekies consisting of thousands, possibly numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Nesting occurs within stretches of shingle or in rock clefts near the ocean, as well as at distances of from four to eight kilometers inland on mountain slopes. The single chick stays in the nest for approximately a month, after which it reaches adult size.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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