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Ancient Murrelet

Synthliboramphus antiquus ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: ALCIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Widespread throughout the north Pacific, the Ancient Murrelet nests colonially in burrows or rock crevices. It is the only seabird that raises its young entirely at sea.

Bird Festivals
Funky Nests

Appearance

Ducklike
Ducklike
Typical Voice

Adult Description

Small plump waterbird. Black face and crown. Gray upperparts. White sides of neck, throat, and underparts. Short, pale yellow bill.

Immature Description

Resembles nonbreeding adult, with little or no white feathers around crown, and a darker bill.

Range Map Help

Ancient Murrelet Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

  • Adult

    Ancient Murrelet

    Adult
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Monterey, California, October 2000

Similar Species

  • No other alcid has a small yellow bill.
  • Nonbreeding Marbled Murrelet somewhat similar, but has dark bill and white flanks and sides of rump visible in flight (gray in Ancient Murrelet).