Guillemot

The guillemot is Lundy's most numerous seabird and spends most of its life at sea, performing deep dives up to 50 metres in search of food.

Their nest sites which are predominantly on the west coast of the island are narrow ledges on steep cliffs where the birds crowd together for safety.  There are around 3,000 individuals nesting at Lundy.  Breeding pairs like to secure a prime location early in the season and will often spend time early morning at the nest site in the few months leading up to breeding to make sure it is not occupied by other birds.  In spring the female lays a large egg directly onto the rock, the eggs are distinctly pointed at one end and will roll around in a circle if disturbed - this is an adaptation to prevent them from falling off the ledge where they are laid.  Their colour varies greatly and irregular surface markings of dark blotches are thought to aid identification by the parents.  When the chick is fully grown, at around 18 - 22 days old the male parent escorts it into the sea.  The adult birds then over winter at sea returning to breed together at the same nest site the following year.

 

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