Razorbill Birds Visit Anna Maria Island

Razorbills swimming around Anna Maria Island
Razorbills swimming around Anna Maria Island

OK, I may be a bit of a birding geek, but I’m sure some of you are freaking out about this as well – the Razorbill birds have made an extremely rare visit to our little corner of the world.  This is your chance to see a bird in warm, sunny Florida that you typically would have to take a boat out in the freezing Atlantic off the coast of Canada to see.
If you aren’t familiar with the Razorbill, visually, they look like a Puffin and are in the same family as the Puffin, they have a sleek black head, bill and wings and a white underbelly. Their beaks are the coolest – big and thick with a fine white line that cuts vertically across the beak. Typically, they live in the North, summering in Canada and migrating to Maine for the winter.  So, what are they doing here?  Well, no one is quite sure, but thoughts include that Hurricane Sandy may have forced them to detour a bit…or quite a lot really. Some people think they may have chosen a different spot because of the lack of food – overfishing in the North Sea waters has been depriving the birds of their natural prey.  We’ve got plenty of baitfish, so welcome to our waters!

Where to See Razorbills on Anna Maria Island

If you want to see the Razorbills off of Anna Maria Island, head out to the North end of the island, off of Bean Point and around the Rod and Reel Pier or the City Pier.  Razorbills are sea birds, so they are typically floating on the waters around the point and the piers.  They are causing quite a scene!  If you see a bunch of people crowding around together on a pier and taking lots of pictures, it’s probably because a Razorbill is near by.
Have you seen the Razorbills locally?  Leave a comment to tell us where you spotted them!