Scripps's Murrelet

Synthliboramphus scrippsi




Auks, Murres and Puffins (Alcidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Blue or green, brown spots

Number of Eggs:

1 - 2

Incubation Days:

27 - 44

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In rock crevices or bare ground.

Nest Material:

No material added to nest.





Scripps’s Murrelet: Medium-sized Murrelet with black upperparts and white cheeks, throat, underparts, and underwing coverts. Bill is dark and thin. Sexes are similar with no seasonal change in plumage.

Range and Habitat

Scripps’s Murrelet: Breeds off the coast of southern California, Baja California, and Mexico. Occasionally wanders north to Vancouver Island. Habitats include steep cliffs above the sea, as well as on slopes and canyons select areas, where there is a sparse cover of shrubs and herbs. During winter, they can be found offshore.

Breeding and Nesting

Scripps’s Murrelet: One or two blue or green eggs with brown spots are laid among boulders or in a crevice near an island beach. Incubation ranges from 27 to 44 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Scripps’s Murrelet: Feeds almost exclusively on northern anchovies and rockfish; forages by diving and pursuing prey underwater. Breeding success may depend on availability of prey.


Scripps’s Murrelet: Gives high pitched twitters, usually in a quick series and muted during nesting season.

Similar Species

Scripps's Murrelet: Craveri's Murrelet has dark wing linings, black extending onto sides of breast, black chin, and longer, thinner bill.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X