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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Common Murre


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

An abundant, penguin-like bird of the cooler northern oceans, the Common Murre nests along rocky cliffs and spends its winter at sea.

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Birds of North America Online


Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized waterbird.
  • Black back and head, white underside.
  • Rather long, slender, pointed bill.
  • Face and throat white in nonbreeding plumage.

Immature Description

Similar to nonbreeding adult.

Range Map Help

Common Murre Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Very similar to Thick-billed Murre, which has a shorter and thicker bill, a white line on the gape, is blacker on the back, lacks streaked flanks, and in winter, has a darker face. 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.