Brachyramphus marmoratus Gmelin, 1789, Alaska. Two subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Atlantic murre, long-billed murrelet; French: Guillemot marbrй; German: Marmelalk; Spanish: Mйrgulo Jaspeado.
9.5–10.5 in (24–27 cm); 6.7–9.5 oz (220–270 g). Dark brown crown and upperparts, back feathers tipped in rusty brown; mottled brown and white underparts. Black bill is slender and pointed; flesh-colored legs and feet with dark webs.
Pacific coast of North America from the Bering Sea to central California, and in similar latitudes on the western side of the Bering Strait.
Nests in coastal forest, preferring large old-growth areas offering heavy cover, or on rocky ground in the northernmost sections of its range.
Marbled murrelets spend most of their time at sea, although individuals are occasionally still seen in the forests. Non-breeding birds spend the nights a few miles from shore, moving in closer during the day to feed. Mated pairs are often sighted together at sea throughout the year. Never seen in large flocks.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Fish and marine invertebrates.
The murrelets build small, cup-shaped nests, flying to and from them at dawn and dusk. They nest solitarily or, in some areas, in small, loose aggregations. Accordingly, studies of nesting
remain limited. Egg is incubated for 27–30 days. After hatching. the chick is fledged and on its own after 27–40 days.
Not threatened. There is some concern, especially in the Pacific Northwest, about the effects of increasing nest predation, the reduction in old-forest habitat, and the effects of commercial fishing nets.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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