Kittlitz's Murrelet

Brachyramphus brevirostris

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Auks, Murres and Puffins (Alcidae)

Code 4

KIMU

Code 6

BRABRE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Kittlitz's Murrelet occurs in coastal areas of Alaska and Russia that border the Bering and Othostk Seas. The global population of this species is estimated between 30,000 and 82,000 individuals. Although it was previously rated as Critically Endagered because of perceived sharp population declines, further studies have indicated that the population is larger and more stable than expected. Nevertheless, the species is still in decline and has been given an IUCN conservation rating of Near Threatened.

SUMMARY

Overview

Kittlitz's Murrelet: Small, chubby seabird, mottled brown and white overall with paler belly, dark wings and short, dark white-edged tail. Dark bill is short and pointed. Legs and feet are black. Dives and swims with wings when submerged. Feeds on small crustaceans and fish.

 

Range and Habitat

Kittlitz's Murrelet: This species breeds on coastlines of the Bering Sea from northern Alaska, along the Aleutian archipelago, and along the southeastern Alaskan coast. It also breeds in similar habitats of northern Asia. They nest on talus slopes of high mountains and winter on ocean waters and glacier bays.

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Kittlitz's Murrelet SONGS AND CALLS

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"squawk"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The critically endangered Kittlitz’s Murrelet is unusual for seabirds in that it is not colonial, nesting instead in isolated locations on mountain tops.
  • The common name for this species commemorates the German zoologist Heinrich von Kittlitz, who collected the first specimen.
  • This bird was known by Native Americans for many years before ornithologists, skeptical of their existence, were convinced to research them.
  • A group of auks has many collective nouns, including a "colony", "loomery", and "raft" of auks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X