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Dovekie Alle alle


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Dovekie, breeding plumage adults, on rock
credit: Michael Haferkamp/CCSA

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Family: Alcidae, Auks, Murres, Puffins view all from this family

Description ADULT SUMMER Has a black head, neck, and upperparts, and white underparts. At close range, white lines on scapulars, white wing bar (white edge to secondaries), and tiny white crescent above eye can be seen. ADULT WINTER Similar, but has a black cap, nape, and back with otherwise white plumage. JUVENILE Similar to winter adult.

Dimensions Length: 8" (20 cm)

Habitat Abundant breeding species, nesting in huge colonies on boulder slopes in high Arctic Greenland. Outside breeding season, entirely pelagic. Many remain in Arctic seas, but good numbers extend south down Atlantic seaboard and common in winter off coasts of Newfoundland, mainly Oct-Mar.

Observation Tips Sometimes forced close to shore during or just after onshore winter gales.

Range Alaska, Eastern Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, New England, Florida

Voice Silent in the region.

Discussion Tiny seabird and the smallest Atlantic alcid. Dumpy, compact appearance is accentuated by short neck and tiny, stubby bill. Flies on rapid, whirring wingbeats. Swims well and dives frequently. Sexes are similar.