The razorbill or lesser auk is a colonial seabird in the monotypic genus Alca of the family Alcidae, the auks. It is the closest living relative of the extinct great auk. Wild populations live in the subarctic waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Razorbills are black with a white underside; the male and female are identical in plumage. This agile bird, capable of both flight and diving, has a predominantly aquatic lifestyle and only comes to land in order to breed, it is monogamous. Females lay one egg per year. Razorbills nest along coastal cliffs in enclosed or exposed crevices; the parents spend equal amounts of time incubating, once the chick has hatched, they take turns foraging for their young. In 1918, the razorbill was protected in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Presently, the major threat for the population is the destruction of breeding sites; the razorbill is the sole species in the genus Alca. Its close relative, the great auk, became extinct in the mid-19th century. Razorbills and great auks are part of the tribe Alcini, which includes the common murre, the thick-billed murre and the dovekie.
The genus name Alca is from Norwegian Alke, torda is from törd a Gotland Swedish dialect word. Both terms refer to this species. There are two subspecies of razorbill recognized by the American Ornithologists' Union. Alca torda torda, named by Linnaeus in 1758, occurs in the Baltic and White Seas, Bear Island, Iceland and eastern North America. Alca torda islandica, named by C. L. Brehm in 1831, occurs throughout Ireland, Great Britain and northwestern France; the two subspecies differ in bill measurements. A third subspecies, Alca torda pica, is no longer recognized because the distinguishing characteristic, an additional furrow in the upper mandible, is now known to be age-related; the razorbill has white underparts and a black head, neck and feet during breeding season. A thin white line extends from the eyes to the end of the bill, its head is darker than that of a common murre. During the nonbreeding season, the throat and face behind the eye become white, the white line on the face becomes less prominent.
The thick black bill has a blunt end. It is large for its mean weight ranges from 505 to 890 g; the female and male adults are much alike, having only small differences such as wing length. The wing length of adult males ranges from 201–216 mm while that of females ranges from 201 to 213 mm; this species has a horizontal stance and the tail feathers are longer in the center in comparison to other alcids. This makes the razorbill have a distinctly long tail, not common for an auk, their mating system is female-enforced monogamy. It nests in hidden crevices among cliffs and boulders, it is a colonial breeder and only comes to land to breed. The annual survival rate of the razorbill is between 89-95%. Though the razorbill's average lifespan is 13 years, a bird ringed in the UK in 1967 survived for at least 41 years—a record for the species. Razorbills are distributed across the North Atlantic. Half of the breeding pairs occur in Iceland. Razorbills thrive in water surface temperature below 15 °C, they are seen with other larger auks, such as the thick-billed murre and common murre.
However, unlike other auks, they move into larger estuaries with lower salinity levels to feed. These birds are distributed across boreal waters of the Atlantic, their breeding habitat is islands, rocky shores and cliffs on northern Atlantic coasts, in eastern North America as far south as Maine, in western Europe from northwestern Russia to northern France. North American birds migrate offshore and south, ranging from the Labrador Sea south to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to New England. Eurasian birds winter at sea, with some moving south as far as the western Mediterranean. 60 to 70% of the entire razorbill population breeds in Iceland. Razorbill colonies include: Grímsey, Iceland Látrabjarg, Iceland - 230,000 pairs, about 40% of the global population. Breeding season June - July. Runde, Norway - 3,000 pairs Staple Island, Outer Farne Islands, UK - 20,000 pairs, breeding season May to mid-July. Bempton Cliffs, United Kingdom - 20,000 pairs from March to mid July. Heligoland, Germany - near southern limit in Europe, a few pairs only Gannet Islands, Canada - 9,800 pairs Funk Island, Canada Baccalieu Island, Canada Witless Bay, Canada Cape St. Mary's, Canada The life history traits of the razorbill are similar to that of the common murre.
However, razorbills are more agile. During breeding, both male and female protect the nest. Females select their mate and will encourage competition between males before choosing a partner. Once a male is chosen, the pair will stay together for life. Individuals only breed at 3–5 years of age; as pairs grow older they will skip a year of breeding. A mating pair will court several times during breeding periods to strengthen their bond. Courtship displays include following one another in elaborate flight patterns. Once the pre-laying period begins, males will guard their mates by knocking o
Kings Mountain State Park
Kings Mountain State Park is a South Carolina state park located in the Piedmont region of South Carolina. It is situated in Cherokee County near the city of Blacksburg, about 40 miles southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina near Interstate 85; this large hilly park includes the Living History Farm, representative of a typical early 19th-century Piedmont farm. It includes a barn, cotton gin and carpenter shop; the park surrounds 65-acre Lake York as well as the smaller Lake Crawford. The park is adjacent to Kings Mountain National Military Park. 6,141 acres of this park were donated in 1934 by the U. S. Government. An additional 744 acres were donated and purchased in 1995; the park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Kings Mountain State Park Historic District was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. Admission, $2.00 adult, $1.25 SC senior citizens, children under 15 are free Camping, $17 – $22 per day Fishing boat rentals, $10.00 per half day & $20.00 per full day Open-air museum List of South Carolina state parks National Register of Historic Places listings in South Carolina Park Finder site SCiway site
Archer Milton Huntington
Archer Milton Huntington was the son of Arabella Huntington and the adopted son of railroad magnate and industrialist Collis P. Huntington who most was his biological father. A lifelong friend of the arts, he is known for his scholarly works in the field of Hispanic Studies and for founding The Hispanic Society of America in New York City, he was a major benefactor of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Numismatic Society, which he convinced to relocate next to the Hispanic Society at the Beaux Arts Audubon Terrace complex in upper Manhattan. In 1932, he founded the Brookgreen Gardens sculpture center in South Carolina. Archer Huntington was married twice. On August 6, 1895, he married Helen Manchester Gates, the daughter of Rev. Isaac E. Gates and Ellen M. H. Gates. Like her mother, Helen was a writer. Archer and Helen were temporarily detained and under arrest by German authorities in Nuremberg, Bavaria, at the outbreak of World War I in August 1914 due to suspicions that Archer, a representative of the American Geographical Society, was a spy.
Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan appealed for their release through diplomatic channels. Archer and Helen had no children and divorced in 1918. Archer married sculptor Anna Hyatt on March 10, 1923, they founded Brookgreen Gardens sculpture center and nature reserve near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 1931, her large scale sculptures adorn the Audubon Terrace at the Hispanic Society of America in New York City. March 10 was both his wife's birthday, they called March 10 "3 in 1 day" and it is still celebrated at Atalaya and Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina. Archer and Anna had no children. Huntington is known for his scholarly works in the field of Hispanic Studies and for founding The Hispanic Society of America in New York City; the society, founded in 1904, is a museum and rare books library whose collections of Hispanic materials are unrivaled outside Spain. Spanish impressionist painter Joaquin Sorolla met Huntington in England in 1908. Huntington soon made him a member of the Hispanic Society, invited him to exhibit there in 1909.
This grand exhibition comprised 356 paintings. Sorolla painted more than twenty portraits. In 1911, Huntington contracted with Sorolla to paint 14 magnificent murals that came to be known as The Provinces of Spain; these are considered to be the major commission of Sorolla's career. His enormous canvases hang in the Sorolla Room of the Hispanic Society building in Manhattan. A major restoration of this room was completed in 2010. During the restoration of the Sorolla Room, the murals toured major art museums in Spain. Huntington's wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington, sculpted the bronze statues and limestone bas-reliefs that stand outside the entrance to the Hispanic Society building. In 1915, Huntington donated land on which the American Academy of Arts and Letters could construct a permanent New York City home; the land was adjacent to the Hispanic Society. He donated land and funds to relocate the Numismatic Society and the Museum of the American Indian to the same complex, Audubon Terrace. In 1932 he donated land and helped to create Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina, a public sculpture garden in which to display the figurative sculpture works of American sculptors, including many pieces by Anna Hyatt Huntington.
A portion of Brookgreen Gardens is a nature reserve, another section is leased to the state for Huntington Beach State Park. The gardens, historic plantation sites, their adjacent residence'Atalaya Castle' are a National Historic Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places. In that same year, working with Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company president Homer L. Ferguson, Huntington founded the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, one of the largest maritime museums in the world. In 1936, Huntington created an endowment which established an annual stipend for a Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, now the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. In 2006, this stipend amounted to $40,000 per year, including a $35,000 salary and $5,000 in travel expenses. From 1932-39, the Huntingtons donated what was to become the 15,000 acre Archer Milton Huntington and Anna Hyatt Huntington Wildlife Forest, in Newcomb, New York, now part of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
In 1939, the Huntingtons donated their mansion at 1083 Fifth Avenue and adjacent properties between 89th & 90th Streets to the National Academy, the oldest artists' organization in the United States. The property is home to the National Academy Art School. Huntington family members included several prominent cousins; the New York City architect Charles P. Huntington was one, his cousin Henry E. Huntington founded the renowned The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in California. Huntington family Works by or about Archer Milton Huntington at Internet Archive Archer Milton Huntington papers - at Syracuse University Special Collections Research Center Hispanic Society: Huntington biography notes American Numismatic Society: Biography Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden - "Biography, The Huntingtons" Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery exhibition files, 1948-1981 from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art Magnificent Coins of the Spanish World, the Arch
Devils Fork State Park
Devils Fork State Park is in northwestern South Carolina on the eastern edge of the Sumter National Forest at the edge of 7,500-acre Lake Jocassee. It is located three miles off the Cherokee Scenic Highway, near tiny Salem, South Carolina; the park offers hiking, camping and kayaking. The park is well known for rainbow and brown trout, as well as largemouth and white bass, crappie and catfish; the park has accommodations including a walk-in ramp. The 622-acre park was created in 1990; the park has many small waterfalls that feed lake Jocassee, is home to the Oconee Bell, a wildflower indigenous to North and South Carolina that grows throughout the park. Official website Devils Fork State Park Pictures & Map
The roseate spoonbill - sometimes placed in its own genus Ajaja - is a gregarious wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family, Threskiornithidae. It is a resident breeder in South America east of the Andes, in coastal regions of the Caribbean, Central America, the Gulf Coast of the United States, from central Florida's Atlantic coast at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, adjoined with NASA Kennedy Space Center at least as far north as South Carolina's Huntington Beach State Park. A 2010 study of mitochondrial DNA of the spoonbills by Chesser and colleagues found that the roseate and yellow-billed spoonbills were each other's closest relatives, the two were descended from an early offshoot from the ancestors of the other four spoonbill species, they felt the genetic evidence meant it was valid to consider all six to be classified within the genus Platalea or alternatively the two placed in the monotypic genera Platibis and Ajaja, respectively. However, as the six species were so similar morphologically, keeping them within the one genus made more sense.
The roseate spoonbill is 71–86 cm long, with a 120–133 cm wingspan and a body mass of 1.2–1.8 kg. The tarsus measures 9.7–12.4 cm, the culmen measures 14.5–18 cm and the wing measures 32.3–37.5 cm and thus the legs, bill and spatulate bill all appear elongated. Adults have a bare greenish head and a white neck and breast, are otherwise a deep pink; the bill is grey. There is no significant sexual dimorphism. Like the American flamingo, their pink color is diet-derived, consisting of the carotenoid pigment canthaxanthin. Another carotenoid, can be found deposited in flight and body feathers; the colors can range from pale pink to bright magenta, depending on age, whether breeding or not, location. Unlike herons, spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched, they alternate groups of shallow wingbeats with glides. This species feeds in shallow fresh or coastal waters by swinging its bill from side to side as it walks through the water in groups; the spoon-shaped bill allows it to sift through mud. It feeds on crustaceans, aquatic insects, frogs and small fish ignored by larger waders.
In the United States, a popular place to observe roseate spoonbills is "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Roseate spoonbills must compete for food with snowy egrets, great egrets, tricolored herons and American white pelicans; the roseate spoonbill nests in shrubs or trees mangroves, laying two to five eggs, which are whitish with brown markings. Immature birds have white, feathered heads, the pink of the plumage is paler; the bill is pinkish. Information about predation on adults is lacking. Nestlings are sometimes killed by turkey vultures, bald eagles and fire ants. In 2006, a 16-year-old banded bird was discovered. Field guide on Flickr "Roseate spoonbill media". Internet Bird Collection. Roseate spoonbill photo gallery at VIREO Roseate spoonbill species account at Neotropical Birds Species account – Cornell Lab of Ornithology Interactive range map of Platalea ajaja at IUCN Red List maps
Uria is a genus of seabirds in the auk family known in Britain as guillemots, in most of North America as murres, in Newfoundland and Labrador as turr. These are medium-sized birds with brown or black plumage in the breeding season, they breed on the coasts of the northern Pacific Oceans. The genus Uria was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the common murre as the type species; the genus name is from a waterbird mentioned by Athenaeus. The English "guillemot" is from French guillemot derived from Guillaume, "William". "Murre" may imitate the call of the common guillemot. Uria auks are relatives of the razorbill, little auk and the extinct great auk and together make up the tribe Alcini. Despite the similar British common names, they are not so related to the Cepphus guillemots, which form the tribe Cepphini; the genus contains two species: These birds breed in large colonies on coastal cliffs, laying single elongated conical eggs directly on cliff ledges. They move south in winter to keep in ice-free waters.
They dive for food from the surface, swimming underwater and being among the deepest divers of all birds, using their stubby wings to dive to more than 100 meters, feeding on fish and crustaceans some molluscs and plant material. Adult birds are black or brown on the head, neck and wings with white underparts; the bill is pointed. They have a small rounded black tail; the lower face becomes white in winter. The flight is strong and direct, these species have fast wing beats due to the short wings. Uria guillemots produces a variety of harsh cackling calls at the breeding colonies, but are silent at sea; some prehistoric Uria species are known: Uria bordkorbi Howard, 1981 Uria affinis - a subspecies of U. lomvia Uria paleohesperis Howard, 1982 Uria onoi Watanabe and Hasegawa, 2016 U. brodkorbi is interesting insofar as it is the only known occurrence of the Alcini tribe in the temperate to subtropical Pacific, except for the fringe of the range of U. aalge. It suggests that the Uria species, which are the sister taxon to all the other Alcini, like them are believed to have evolved in the Atlantic, may have evolved in the Caribbean or close to the Isthmus of Panama.
The modern Pacific distribution would be part of a arctic expansion, whereas most other auk lineages form clades with a continuous range in the Pacific, from arctic to subtropical waters