XANTUS'S MURRELET


Synthliboramphus hypole


Description:

Murrelets are called such because they resemble tiny murres. At sea they are often seen in pairs. This species was named for its discoverer, the Hungarian explorer John Xantus, who was a pioneer ornithologist on the West Coast in the 1860s.


Appearance:

White cheeks, throat, breast, belly, and undertail coverts. Black lores, crown, nape, back, wings, and tail. Broken white eye ring. White wing linings. No seasonal change in plumage. One form of this bird has more white around the eye. Sexes similar. 9.5 to 10.5 inches in length.


Habitat:

Open ocean; pelagic.


Nesting:

1-2 buff colored eggs with brown markings. The eggs have an 27-44 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in ? days. The eggs are placed in a crevice or amoung rocks, away from the beach, on a rocky island. Nests in colonies.


Observed Locations:

  • Pacific ocean
  • 13th St Imperial Beach, CA





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