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The post-fledging survival of a total of 1277 young Guillemots Uria aalge ringed in 6 years was assessed using sightings of 267 individuals back at the natal colony and recoveries of 46 ringed birds. In two years there was a significant decline in survival prospects with estimated hatching date, the first time such a trend has been demonstrated in the Alcidae. In these years pairs breeding early had a 2–3 times greater chance of having a young survive to return to the colony than pairs breeding three weeks later. Hatching date had no effect on survival prospects in the other four seasons and in none of the years did chick body condition have a demonstrable effect on post-fledging survival.