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British Birds - Auks, Avocets, Cranes and Skuas
The name of this aggressive bird is the subject of one of our questions.

British Birds - Auks, Avocets, Cranes and Skuas

Did you know that the avocet is the emblem of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and symbolises the bird protection movement in the UK more than any other species? Auks, avocets, cranes and skuas are all natural water birds. See if you can recognise these amazing birds in the quiz below.

To appreciate the beauty of the birds and to help with identification we recommend that you click the photos below to expand them.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
1.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Per Harald Olsen
Avocet
Pomarine Skua
Arctic Skua
Razorbill
  • Group: Skuas
  • Binomial: Stercorarius parasiticus
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Stercorariidae
  • Status: Passage Migrant And Localised Summer Breeder
  • Often seen flying low and fast above the waves in pursuit of a tern or other bird.
  • Comes to land only to breed and is aggressive towards intruders.
2.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of http://www.photo-natur.de/
Long-tailed Skua
Pomarine Skua
Avocet
Atlantic Puffin
  • Group: Avocets and Stilts
  • Binomial: Recurvirostra avosetta
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Recurvirostridae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • Distinctively-patterned black and white wader with a long up-curved beak.
  • Its return in the 1940s and subsequent increase in numbers represents one of the most successful conservation and protection projects.
3.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Erik Christensen
Avocet
Great Skua
Atlantic Puffin
Arctic Skua
  • Group: Skuas
  • Binomial: Stercorarius skua
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Stercorariidae
  • Status: Passage Migrant And Localised Summer Breeder
  • An aggressive pirate of the seas.
  • Deliberately harrasses birds as large as gannets to steal a free meal.
  • Breeds on coastal moorland and rocky islands.
4.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of http://www.photo-natur.de/
Common Crane
Long-tailed Skua
Common Guillemot
Atlantic Puffin
  • Group: Auks
  • Binomial: Fratercula arctica
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Alcidae
  • Status: Breeding Summer Visitor
  • Used as a symbol for books and other items, this clown among seabirds is one of the world's favourite birds.
  • Typically silent at sea, except for soft purring sounds it sometimes makes in flight.
5.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Henrik Thorburn
Avocet
Common Guillemot
Black Guillemot
Atlantic Puffin
  • Group: Auks
  • Binomial: Cepphus grylle
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Alcidae
  • Status: Resident Localised Breeding Species
  • It comes to land only to nest, spending the rest of its life at sea, where it is vulnerable to oil spills.
  • It is sometimes seen inshore after gales or passing by longer headlands.
6.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Patrick Coin
Common Guillemot
Black Guillemot
Long-tailed Skua
Pomarine Skua
  • Group: Skuas
  • Binomial: Stercorarius pomarinus
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Stercorariidae
  • Status: Passage Migrant
  • Only the White-tailed Eagle and the Golden Eagle are known to take healthy adults.
  • Will fly at the head of a human or other intruder approaching its nest.
  • Nests on Arctic tundra and islands.
7.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of M.Buschmann
Avocet
Common Crane
Common Guillemot
Great Skua
  • Group: Auks
  • Binomial: Uria aalge
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Alcidae
  • Status: Breeding Summer Visitor And Resident Species
  • Typically dive to depths of 30–60 m and depths of up to 180 m have been recorded.
  • Both male and female become flightless for 1-2 months after breeding.
8.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Steve Garvie
Great Skua
Avocet
Black Guillemot
Common Crane
  • Group: Cranes
  • Binomial: Grus grus
  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Gruidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species And Passage Migrant
  • An Act of Parliament of 1533 included a measure that made the taking of this bird's eggs an offence.
  • A scarce spring and autumn migrant to Britain.
9.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Jerzy Strzelecki
Long-tailed Skua
Atlantic Puffin
Pomarine Skua
Common Crane
  • Group: Skuas
  • Binomial: Stercorarius longicaudus
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Stercorariidae
  • Status: Passage Migrant
  • Good numbers of birds spend the winter off west African coasts.
  • Onshore winds and rough weather further out to sea are the best conditions for bringing them to our coasts.
10.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Jessica
Razorbill
Great Skua
Avocet
Pomarine Skua
  • Group: Auks
  • Binomial: Alca torda
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Alcidae
  • Status: Breeding Summer Visitor And Resident Species
  • Fishing nets, pollution and declining fish stocks all threaten the bird.
  • Though the average lifespan is roughly 13 years, a bird ringed in the UK in 1967 has survived for at least 41 years.
This quiz was kindly sponsored by gardenature – a great place to go to buy bird box cameras and other fascinating bird-watching products.

             

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