April 22, 2015 – Kittlitz’s Murrelet, Glacier Murrelet, or Short-Billed Murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris)

Happy Earth Day!

These small seabirds are found around the Bering Sea, often near glaciers, breeding in far eastern Russia and Alaska. They eat small fish, krill, and shrimp, capturing them while diving underwater, using their wings to swim. They nest on scree slopes, laying a single egg on a ledge, crevice, or the ground. Classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN due to habitat loss and degradation likely caused by global warming, as well as boat traffic in their summer habitat, gillnet fishing, and oil spills, they are not currently protected in the United States. Their population has declined by 80 to 90 percent in the last few decades.