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Thick-billed Murre


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A common bird of the far northern oceans, the Thick-billed Murre is found in Arctic waters all across the globe. It remains up to the limits of pack ice in winter, using its wings to swim underwater to find its fish and invertebrate prey.

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Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized waterbird.
  • Black back and head, white underside.
  • Rather stout, pointed bill.
  • Throat white in nonbreeding plumage.

Immature Description

Similar to nonbreeding adult, but has slimmer, shorter bill and browner upperparts.

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Thick-billed Murre Range Map
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Similar Species

  • Very similar to Common Murre, which has a longer and thinner bill, lacks the white line on the gape, is browner on the back, has flanks streaked with gray, and in winter, has a white face with thin black line extending behind the eyes. In breeding plumage the white of the breast meets the dark throat in a straight line or shallow inverted "U" in Common Murre, but in a sharp inverted "V" in Thick-billed.
  • Razorbill very similar from a distance, but is more robust, and has a deeper and blunter bill, and often holds it longer tail cocked up into the air.