COMMON MURRE – Uria aalge


Common murre facts: Common murres have black-brown heads and backs. Their bellies are white. They have long, slender, pointed black bills.

Geographic range: Common murres are found from California to Alaska on the western coast of North America. On the eastern coast of North America they can be seen from New England to Labrador. They are also range from Siberia to Japan and Korea.

Common murre habitat: Common murres inhabit rocky seashore areas during the breeding season, but spend most of the rest of the time on the open ocean.

What does common murre eat: Common murres eat primarily fish. They also eat some marine invertebrates.

Behavior and reproduction: Common murres are fast, able fliers often found in large flocks. Their calls sound like the purr of a cat. During the breeding season, common murres nest in large colonies, which may include other species of birds. The female lays a single egg on bare rock. Parents are able to recognize their egg visually by its markings, and can find their own egg if it happens to roll away. Eggs hatch after thirty-two to thirty-five days. The chick leaves the nest after twenty to twenty-two days. Chicks follow their fathers to open ocean and are cared for until they become independent.

Common murres and people: Common murres are hunted in large numbers in Newfoundland.

Conservation status: Common murres are not considered threatened at this time. However, populations have been affected by habitat disturbance and hunting.