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Surfbird (Aphriza virgata) | by R-Gasman
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Surfbird (Aphriza virgata)

Georgina Point, Mayne Island


The Surfbird is rarely found away from the splash and spray of incoming waves. It lives among the wave-tossed rocks of the Pacific Coast, and only leaves the coast for the rocky mountain ridges of Alaska and the Yukon to breed. The Surfbird's winter range is among the longest and narrowest of any North American breeding bird. During the winter it can be found from Alaska to the Strait of Magellan, Chile, a distance of more than 17,500 km, and the winter range extends inland only a few meters above the tide line.


The wave-tossed rocks at Georgina Point on Mayne Island are covered by Surfbird and Turnstone during fall. They move continuously, pull mussels and barnacles from rocks and swallow them whole.


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Taken on November 8, 2016