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Dovekie -Alle alle



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Charadriiformes
 Family: Alcidae
 Genus: Alle
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern


DovekieClosely related to the puffin, the dovekie is a small, stocky, black and white sea bird. It is only 9 inches in length and weighs less than one pound. With a short, stubby bill and a neck tucked into its body, the dovekie looks very compact floating on the open ocean. Thick layers of fat insulate the dovekie from frigid ocean waters.


mapThe dovekie is a northern sea bird. It is found around the Arctic Circle, in the waters surrounding Canada and Iceland. In the winter, the dovekie stays close to the southern edge of the pack ice in the region. In the summer, it breeds on the shores of Greenland, parts of northern Canada, and Iceland. New England is the southernmost part of the dovekie's range.


DovekieThe dovekie spends most of its time in the ocean. It stays in parts of the ocean with abundant plankton for food. The dovekie comes ashore only to breed. It looks for rocky slopes, eroded cliffs, and old lava flows.


DovekieA carnivore, the dovekie feeds mostly on zooplankton. It also eats crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish. The dovekie can dive 40 meters below the surface in search of prey. It uses its wings to swim through the water.

Life Cycle

DovekieIn the summer, thousands of dovekies gather at nesting sites alongside the ocean. Nests are made of pebbles, with a depression in the center for the egg to be laid. The male defends the nest. The female lays one egg per year, which she incubates for about a month. Chicks fledge after 28 days, leaving the nest by themselves or in small groups.


DovekieIn the winter, dovekies stay at the southern edge of the arctic pack ice. With warming global weather, the pack ice has been retreating and the dovekies are following it.

Audio Credit: xeno-canto.orgStein . Nilsen cc logo