The riddle of the razor-billed invasion of the Italian coast

The riddle of the razor-billed invasion of the Italian coast

There appears to be an unsolvable puzzle round this little chook, which has the distinctive look of a penguin however can fly in comparison with a penguin, and the way – from mid-November – it has invaded the coast of Italy. It was not often seen earlier than, particularly within the Ligurian Sea, with solely a handful of observations per yr. However this yr the razoragaga, scientific identify Alca torda, is a species with pelagic habits, a really expert swimmer, particularly an anchovy lover, virtually in every single place. A lot in order that just a few weeks in the past, ornithologists reported an “irregular improve in sightings”, first in areas bordering the wintering grounds in Liguria, Tuscany, and Sardinia, after which throughout the complete Tyrrhenian Sea, from Lazio to Campania (England). Naples hasn’t been seen for nearly a century), from Calabria to Sicily. Lastly, right here too alongside the coast of Salento, between the Ionian and the Adriatic. Experiences additionally got here from North Africa and Greece.
A phenomenon that has come to an finish pages between New Scientist and fueling and fueling debate amongst specialists.

“Some – based on Balestrieri – even sought meals from people, irregular habits for a wild animal”. What’s extra: A preliminary evaluation of about thirty specimens discovered useless confirmed they had been malnourished razor-billed, weighing about half the typical 700 grams of a wholesome grownup. So is it attainable for razorbills to maneuver in blocks as a result of there are fewer fish?

Recent observations (

What is definite is that the distinctive nature of the existence of the razor beak, together with the elemental query turning yellow this winter, appears to underpin an already rising phenomenon, birdwatching, and is giving new life to so-called citizen science: ornithological knowledge assortment portals “have sure ornithological information.” turns into the protagonist of a collaborative effort – as Balestrieri factors out – the place even those that usually are not are concerned.

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