Language English Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing featuresThis bird has dark chocolate brown plumage on its back, neck and head, and white undersides. Its bill is slender and pointed. It stands erect, like a penguin, when on land. The male and female are identical in appearance. One variety of this species sports a white eye-ring. ReproductionSexual maturity is normally at 5 or 6 years. The female produces a single offspring once a year. Incubation takes 33 days. The young bird stays in the nest for 18 to 29 days and is cared for by both parents. It is thought that these birds mate for life. DietCommon murres eat small fish, such as capelin and sand lances. PredatorsThe enemies of the adults are raptors, including peregrine falcons, rough-legged hawks, gyrfalcons and goshawks. They may also be attacked by large gulls and large fish. The eggs and young are eaten by Arctic foxes, red foxes, crows and sometimes gulls. HabitatThey dwell offshore in the North Atlantic subarctic sea. They nest on narrow ledges or atop sea cliffs, forming colonies of several thousand birds. These colonies are often very dense, with up to 20 pairs per m2. The female lays her egg directly on the bare rock. Ecology, behaviourThis is the largest species of Alcidae at the Biodôme, in addition to being the species that forms the largest colonies and ventures farthest offshore. In winter, these birds can be seen off the Newfoundland Grand Banks and the Labrador coast. They can dive up to 100 m to catch fish. In winter, they spend 8 to 9 months at sea without returning to land. They dwell in cold seas, feeding on fish, using their short wings for propulsion. French nameGuillemot marmette Scientific nameUria aalgePhylumChordataClassBirdsOrderCharadriiformesFamilyAlcidaeSizeHeight: 42 to 45 cm; wingspan: 76 cmWeight800 to 1200 gLife spanIn nature: 20 ansStatusFairly common species, least concern.