Kittlitz's Murrelet: Small, chubby seabird, mottled brown and white overall with paler belly, dark wings and short, dark white-edged tail. Dark bill is short and pointed. Legs and feet are black. Dives and swims with wings when submerged. Feeds on small crustaceans and fish.
Range and Habitat
Kittlitz's Murrelet: Breeds on coasts of Bering Sea, Aleutians, and southeastern Alaska; also in Asia. Nests on talus slopes of high mountains; winters on ocean waters and glacier bays.
The critically endangered Kittlitz’s Murrelet is unusual for seabirds in that it is not colonial, nesting instead in isolated locations on mountain tops.
The common name for this species commemorates the German zoologist Heinrich von Kittlitz, who collected the first specimen.
This bird was known by Native Americans for many years before ornithologists, skeptical of their existence, were convinced to research them.
A group of auks has many collective nouns, including a "colony", "loomery", and "raft" of auks.
The Kittlitz's Murrelet is evaluated as Critically Endangered at this time. Over the last several years this bird species has experienced rapid population decline. There are a number of different threats facing Kittlitz's Murrelet. Only a few thousand individual birds are thought to remain within its native range. This bird was once primarily distributed in the area of the Bering Sea. For the most part, this bird is not known to winter. Without change in the range and population of Kittlitz's Murrelet, it is considered to be in grave danger.