Rookery Bay staff and volunteers spotted two razorbills along the shore of Keewaydin Island while conducting the bi-weekly bird census. Razorbills are a North Atlantic species related to puffins and, more distantly, penguins. There have been only 14 previous records in Florida but since early December researchers estimate more than 1,000 of these birds have been seen statewide. Razorbills have also been seen locally at the Naples Pier and along Marco Island. Reserve staff also encountered a razorbill carcass that had washed ashore and provided it to researchers for further study.
Scientists and birders have offered many theories as to why razorbills are showing up here at all, let alone in such large numbers, however it will take time for all factors to be considered before any sound explanation can be reached.