Kittlitz's Murrelet

Brachyramphus brevirostris




Auks, Murres and Puffins (Alcidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Blue to yellow green with brown or purple spots

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On a mountain slope among rocks.

Nest Material:

No material added to nest.





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. Sexes are similar. Winter adult has dark gray upperparts, white face with dark broken eye-ring, dark neck band, and white underparts; white patch on dark wings is sometimes visible on swimming birds and always visible in flight. Juvenile resembles winter adult but is paler with lightly mottled underparts and face.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Kittlitz's Murrelet: One olive, blue-green, or yellow-green egg is laid in a nest on bare rock well away from the ocean. Eggs are incubated for about 15 days by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Kittlitz's Murrelet: Eats small crustaceans and small fish; forages by diving.


Kittlitz's Murrelet: Call is a loud, strong squawk.

Similar Species

Kittlitz's Murrelet: In summer, Marbled Murrelet has longer bill, less white on belly, darker, more rufous back, and lacks white on tail feathers; in winter, has partial collar, black back of neck, and black cap extending below bill.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
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.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X