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Ancient Murrelet Life History


Habitat OceansMostly pelagic; nests along rocky seacoasts in crevices, under rocks, and in burrows in the ground.Back to top


Food FishBack to top


Nest Placement

Nest Burrow

Nesting Facts

Condition at Hatching:Covered in down, can walk, but stays in nest.
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Behavior Surface DiveDives underwater to capture prey, using its wings to swim.Back to top


Conservation DecliningIntroduced mammals, including foxes and raccoons, can have severe negative impacts on Ancient Murrelet colonies. Removal programs have led to rapid recovery in some cases, but repeated recolonization by raccoons remains the most pressing conservation issue for Ancient Murrelets in British Columbia. These birds are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.Back to top


Gaston, Anthony J. and Akiko Shoji. (2010). Ancient Murrelet (Synthliboramphus antiquus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2020. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2020.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.

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