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Thick-billed Murre

Silhouette AuksAuks
Thick-billed MurreUria lomvia
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Alcidae

Basic Description

The tuxedo-clad Thick-billed Murre nests in vast colonies on sea cliffs in the Arctic. Though it can be mistaken at first glance for a penguin, this seabird is a capable flier and doesn't occur anywhere near the Southern Hemisphere. Thick-billed Murres are long lived and often pair for life, commuting long distances to bring back one fish at a time for their single chick. They spend most of the year far out at sea, diving deeply in cold northern waters, sometimes resting on ice floes.

More ID Info
image of range map for Thick-billed Murre
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

A bustling colony of Thick-billed Murres is a thrilling sight—Alaska, Newfoundland, and Iceland are good places to take such a trip. In winter, pelagic (ocean-going) birding trips in New York or New England waters may turn up Thick-billed Murres. They sometimes show up close to shore in places such as Cape Cod, Massachusetts, or Campobello Island, on the Maine–New Brunswick border. A spotting scope is useful to identify them from land, as they look very similar to Common Murres and Razorbills from a distance.

Other Names

  • Arao de Brünnich (Spanish)
  • Guillemot de Brünnich (French)
  • Cool Facts