1191. LITTLE AUK.
Mergulus alle (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 211 (1766) ; (Naum.), xii. p. 552, Taf. 334 ; (Hewitson), ii. p. 465, pl. cxxvii. fig. 1 ; (Gould), B. of E. v. pl. 402 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 50 ; Dresser, viii. p. 591, pl. 624 ; (Ogilvie Grant), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvi. p. 569 ; (Ridgway), p. 19 ; Saunders, p. 705 ; Lilford, vi. p. 94, pl. 42.
Guillemot nain, French ; Krabbentaucher, German ; Kleine, Alk, Dutch ; Haftirdill Halkion, Icel. ; Lille krabbedykker, Dan. ; Alkekonge, Norweg. ; Alkekung, Swed. ; Jaakyyhkynen, Finn.
Ad. (Greenland). Head and neck sooty black with a brownish tinge ; upper parts of body and wing-coverts black glossed with purplish blue, the scapulars margined with white ; wings and tail black, the short secondaries tipped with white ; under parts white, the flanks striped with black ; bill plumbeous black ; legs dark livid flesh-colour ; iris dark brown. Gape 0.9, wing 4.8, tail 1.4, tarsus 0.82 inch. Sexes alike. In winter the entire throat and sides of the neck are white, and the nape slightly marked with white.
Hab. The Arctic Ocean north to Franz Josefs Land, east to Novaya Zemlya, west to Baffin’s Bay, ranging south after the nesting season to the coasts of Great Britain, Scandinavia, the Baltic up to the Gulf of Bothnia, and the North Sea, and Atlantic south to the Canaries and Azores.
In habits it is essentially a sea-bird. It feeds, usually in large flocks, on small crustacea and probably also on small fish. At its breeding places, which are often near the top of lofty cliffs, it is said to be very noisy, continually uttering its note, trrr, trrr, tet, tet, tet, trrr. It breeds in rocky places, depositing a single egg between the stones, or in clefts of the rocks. The eggs are pale greenish blue, sometimes almost white, occasion¬ally dotted and spotted, chiefly at the larger end, with pale red, and measure about 1.88 by 1.31.
1191. Mergulus alle
1191. LITTLE AUK.