Tail and rump are black. Like all auks, common murres are diving birds. They have a protruding white “horn” during breeding season! Basic Info The murre is the largest member of the Alcid family, web-footed diving birds with short legs and wings that includes birds such as auklets, guillemots, murres, murrelets, and puffins. Common murres can fly 125 miles from the nest to find food for their chicks. Numbers fluctuate annually, in response to food supply and climatic events. Conservation Status The common murre (Uria aalge; Family Alcidae) is an abundant, pursuit-diving predator in the northern California Current System (NCCS) that consumes a diversity of forage fishes, squid, and euphausiids (Ainley et al., 1996; Sydeman et al., 2001; Nevins, 2004). The common murre mates when it is five to six years old. During the breeding season, the common murre is found along the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts. Common murres first breed at 4 to 5 years of age. They are a striking example of evolutionary convergence: the comparable adaptations of disparate organisms to shared environmental pressures. When disturbed, the birds may knock eggs and chicks out of the nest sites in their haste to fly clear of the disturbance. The Common murre or common guillemot is a pursuit-dive that allows the wings to propagate, with wings for swimming and swimming underwater. But common murres aren't even related to penguins. The common murre is built for swimming and diving. To dive, they partly extend their wings and propel themselves underwater, then snatch and carry a single fish lengthwise in their mouth, with the head of the fish held in the mouth cavity. Common murres will dive to almost 250 feet in pursuit of schools of small fish. Their flight is labored. Both sexes incubate and care for the young. Common Murres are also highly sensitive to disturbance by humans, whether they are on foot, in a boat, or in a low-flying plane. Takeoff is awkward, but once it's airborne, the thick-billed murre can fly at about 75 miles an hour. Uria aalge Murres belong to a family called Alcids, or Auks. On land, they sit upright. Dives usually last less than one minute, but the bird swims underwater for distances of over 30 m (98 ft) on a regular basis. Thick-billed Murres are among the deepest underwater divers of all birds, regularly descending to depths of more than 100 meters, and occasionally below 200 meters (656 feet). Less chunky than the other large alcids, the Common Murre has a short neck and a long, straight bill. Plunging up to 350–400 feet below the surface and remaining submerged for up to one to two minutes at a time, common murres use their wings to swim while hunting for a wide variety of fish including herring, cod, capelin and sand lance as well as crustaceans, squid and marine worms. Common Eider: Large diving duck (v-nigrum), with distinctive sloping forehead, black body, white breast and back. While some members of the family fly long distances in post-breeding dispersal or migration, others fly only with effort. Common murre (Uria aalge) diel patterns in number of dives (A) and mean dive duration (B) during the summer of 2015. Often, to prevent young chicks from jumping off the ledge prematurely, adults stand between the chicks and the cliff edge. Gill-netting continues today in Puget Sound. On the Atlantic Coast, it is found from Labrador, Canada south to New Brunswick, Canada. Common murres are silent at sea, but in flight make a soft murrr sound. If you find the information on BirdWeb useful, please consider supporting Seattle Audubon. Both sides high degree of site and mate fidelity 350–400 feet fledge, the two types of have... Estimated 70,000 murres were killed in gill nets in California before restrictions were imposed 1987. Almost always seen in these areas year round, and sub-adults ) also cease colony once... 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