Long-billed Murrelet: Small seabird with dark brown upperparts and darker brown barring, paler throat and white eye-ring. Underparts are lighter brown with brown barring. Straight black bill. Legs and feet are brown. Strong fast direct flight, often close to the water on rapid wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Long Billed Murrelet: Rare to casual occurrences reported throughout North America, especially in fall and winter. Preferred habitats include lakes and rivers, rocky places, coniferous and open forests.
The Long-billed Murrelet often nests far inland in old growth forests.
Until recently, it was grouped with Marbled Murrelet as a single species but is now given full-species status based on phylogenetic, evolutionary and biological criteria.
Interestingly, when first recognized in the middle of the 19th Century, Marbled and Long-billed Murrelets were treated as separate species.
A group of auks has many collective nouns, including a "colony", "loomery", and "raft" of auks.
The Long-billed Murrelet has a small breeding range, confined from the Sea of Okhotsk in Japan to the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. Native to China, Japan, Korea, and the Russian Federation and introduced to Switzerland, this bird prefers forest and marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated in the tens of thousands and shows significant signs of decline that necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Long-billed Murrelet is Near Threatened.