This afternoon, the Marine Science Center at Ponce Inlet, Florida received an immature Razorbill into their bird hospital. The bird was found washed-up on the beach in New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County. There have been probably fewer than 10 state record for the Razorbill in Florida, with the only other eBird record from Pinellas County, on the Gulf Coast of Florida back in 2005 (eBird checklist). However, the first state record was in 1967, and several more sightings in the 70′s and 80′s. Michael Brothers took the following three photos of the Razorbill today.
Since I posted this originally on December 7th, there have been a surge of Razorbill sightings in Florida. Prior to this year, there had been less than 10 Razorbills ever recorded in the state of Florida. There have been at least 7 new Razorbill sightings reported since December 7th! One bird was found on Devember 9th at Boynton Beach and has been very cooperative for birders and photographers (link to photos by the original finder). Another 4 birds were seen in flight together off of Fort Pierce! Yet another two birds were found foraging around a fishing boat 30 minutes south of Boynton Beach, off Fort Lauderdale. The fisherman were able to get a decent video of the Razorbills which can be seen at this link. And finally, another Razorbill washed up near Ponce Inlet and was brought to the Marine Science Center (photo by Michael Brothers below). Sadly, the first bird that was brought in (photos above) died.
A pelagic trip out of Jekyll Island, Georgia found 30 to 40 Razorbills. There is no doubt that this year is turning into quite the Razorbill invasion! Keep tabs on the most recent sightings on eBird and I can also try to continue updating this post with sightings that I come across.
Alex is currently studying Wildlife Biology at the Pennsylvania State University. Alex is a traveling field ornithologist, most recently working for the Center for Conservation Biology, studying migrant Whimbrel and other coastal birds of Virginia's Eastern Shore. He has done field work across the US on everything from Yellow-billed Cuckoos to Long-billed Curlews.
An avid birder since 8 years old, Alex has since been able to travel not only across most of the United States, but also to Central America and Southern Africa in search birds. Raptors, shorebirds, and warblers are among his favorite groups of birds to observe and photograph.
Alex is obsessive about eBird, combing through the data to help out with Big Days and is also a budding wildlife photographer.