|Family: Alcidae (Auks, Murres, and Puffins)
I finally saw this wonderful bird in Nome, and then in the Kenai Fjords, in June 2022. My lifer was incredibly cooperative, spending many minutes near our overlook in the Nome harbor. (I hope it was healthy!) This species has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records:
Thick-billed Murre: Deepest dive by a bird, flying. The deepest underwater dive by a flying bird is 210 m (690 ft) by a Brünnich’s guillemot or thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia) with a maximum speed of descent of around 2 m (6 ft 6 in) a second. Auks in general are excellent swimmers and recent technology has made tracking the depth of their dives much easier. Devices have shown that murres make up to 20 consecutive dives staying at the surface for less than a minute between each dive. Some murres have recorded dives of up to three minutes with only a brief pause at the surface, prey is swallowed underwater to avoid having to return to the surface.