Alle alle - Dovekie:

Summary Information
Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Ciconiiformes / Laridae / Alle / Species

This section is currently predominantly used in Wildpro to link different data types and demonstrate inter-relationships. Although it identifies that taxonomic interrelationships of species (see "header") it does not currently contain detailed information on the bird species itself. As Wildpro is developed, we will gradually convert these pages into full Species pages.

The taxonomy of birds is still under review and the A World Checklist of Birds by Burt L. Monroe, Jr and Charles G. Sibley (B89) has been chosen as the primary reference. The taxonomic structure will be amended when new editions or complete references are identified by the scientific world as the recognized primary references for taxonomy.

Alternative Names
Distribution Northern Holarctic; winters to Mediterranean, West Indies (B89)
Habitat Breeding - "Sea cliffs and rocky slopes near ocean, most common in the High Arctic." (B163)
Further Information Length: 19-21 cm, wingspan 34-38 cm. (B164)
  • Very small alcid, only about half the size of Fratercula arctica - Atlantic puffin. (B164)
  • Bill: very short and stubby, black. (B164)
  • Eyes: Black. (B164)
  • Feet and legs: Grey. (B164)
  • Plumage: Basically black above and white below.
  • Adult in summer: 
    • Head, neck and upper breast black, dorsal black except scapulars edged with white, secondaries tipped white (white trailing edge), ventral white, underwing dusky grey. (B164)
  • Adult in winter: 
    • Dorsal head, neck and body black, except scapulars edged with white, secondaries tipped white (white trailing edge), ventral including neck and up sides of face behind eyes white; underwing dusky grey. (B164)

Note: between dives, often floats rather low in the water, with wings slightly dragging in the water, otherwise floats higher. (B164)


  • food - mainly Planktonic crustaceans
  • feeding behaviour - surface dives


  • location and structure - ground nesting on cliff or among boulders; no nest
  • breeding structure - monogamous


  • markings - mainly unpatterned, sometimes has darks spots and scrawls
  • number of eggs - 1
  • broods - 1 brood
  • incubation - by male and female; 23-30 days


  • development - semi precocial, stays in nest, fed by parents
  • parental caring for young - by male and female
  • fledging - 23-30 days

(B163, B164)



  • Protected at all times.

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