Marbled Murrelet


Marbled Murrelet

Marbled Murrelet

Marbled murrelet swimming U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gus Van Vilet
Image Source

The Marbled Murrelet is a small seabird from the North Pacific.  It nests in old-growth forests or on the ground at higher latitudes where trees cannot grow. The murrelet feeds on small fish and invertebrates in the ocean during the day and visits its nest site located on a large branch high in the canopy of old-growth forests mainly at dawn or dusk.

No one knew where the Marbled Murrelet nested until a tree-climber found a chick in 1974; this bird is one of the last North American bird species to have its nest described. The Marbled Murrelet has experienced declines in their numbers since humans began logging their nest trees beginning in the late 1800s. The Marbled Murrelet gives us an important reason to preserve old growth forests.

The populations in Washington, Oregon and California were listed as threatened in 1992 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service due to concerns about loss of nesting habitat, entanglement in fishing gear and oil spills. The remaining populations (Alaska and Canada) are currently under review.

Additional Images:

Marbled Murrelet Map

Marbled murrelet range map Bird Life International
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