Family Auks (Alcidae)


Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus)


French: Guillemot marbré German: Marmelalk Spanish: Mérgulo jaspeado americano

Colymbus marmoratus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Prince William Sound, Alaska


Until recently considered conspecific with B. perdix. Monotypic.


W Aleutians (Attu I) to Barren Is and SE Alaska, S to C California (Santa Cruz Mts). Winters mainly offshore and along coasts near and somewhat S of breeding grounds.

Descriptive notes

24–26 cm; 121–269 g; wingspan 43 cm. Chunky alcid with slender, pointed blackish bill, and blackish brown iris; dusky dark brown crown and upperparts, back... read more


Highly vocal at inland nesting sites, and more vocal at sea compared to other alcids; especially... read more


Pelagic and along sea coasts, in summer usually offshore from coniferous forests along mainland... read more

Food and feeding

Adult diet normally invertebrates, especially euphausiid crustaceans (Thysanoessa spinifera), from Mar to early Jun, with fish... read more


Breeding season longer and less synchronous than in other alcid species, with laying and incubation in North America from late Mar to late... read more


Seasonal post-breeding movements poorly known, but recorded wintering up to c. 225 km from nesting... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Previously considered Near Threatened. Population has apparently undergone a very rapid reduction. Historical estimates place the population at c. 750,000... read more

Recommended citation

Nettleship, D.N., Kirwan, G.M., de Juana, E. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 5 April 2020).