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6 June 2012

Great Auk

Great Auk (大海雀)
Faroe Islands (2012)
20th February, 2012. Tórshavn

Great Auk, is an extinct seabird of the North Atlantic which very common in the Viking Age, it looks similar to Guillemot (海鴉) or Razorbill (刀嘴海雀) but larger than them, it can measure 70cm in height. In 15th century, large colonies to be found in Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, Baffin Island and Labrador but the most famous colony was on the Penguin Islands, lies in the north east of Newfoundland. However followed the last Great Auks were killed in 1801-1802, there are no more Great Auk to be found in America.

In Europe, Great Auk was a summer visitor of Faroe Islands but last record was found in Stóra Dímun on 1808. Latest record of Great Auk was killed in Eldey on 1844. Before it extincted, European museums were flushed to find example be their collection and now can be seen their specimens in natural museums of Iceland or Denmark.