The Dovekie, also known as the Little Auk, is a small seabird that belongs to the family Alcidae. It measures about 7.5-8 inches (19-21 cm) in length and weighs approximately 5-8 ounces (140-225 grams). The Dovekie is one of the smallest seabirds in the Alcidae family and can be identified by its short neck, small head, and rounded wings.
The Dovekie has a distinctive appearance, with black feathers covering its body, and a white underbelly. It has a small, triangular-shaped bill that is black in color, and short legs and webbed feet that are set far back on its body. Additionally, the Dovekie has dark circles around its eyes, giving it the appearance of wearing eyeglasses.
Dovekies are migratory birds and breed in the Arctic tundra during the summer months. They then migrate southward to wintering grounds along the northern coasts of Europe, North America, and Asia. During the breeding season, Dovekies nest in large colonies on rocky cliffs and islands, where they lay a single egg. After hatching, the chicks are fed a diet of small fish and crustaceans by both parents.
During the winter months, Dovekies can be found in large flocks in the northern Atlantic Ocean. They are adapted to life at sea and can dive to depths of up to 200 feet (61 meters) to catch their prey. Despite their small size, Dovekies are excellent fliers, and their compact size and strong wings allow them to maneuver through the water and air with ease.
In conclusion, the Dovekie is a small but hardy seabird that is well-adapted to life in the harsh Arctic environment. With its distinctive black and white plumage, it is easy to identify in the field, and its migration patterns make it a fascinating subject for birdwatchers and ornithologists alike.