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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Marbled Murrelet -- Brachyramphus marmoratus

RANGE: Breeds from Alaska south to central California. Winters, off shore, from southern Alaska to central California (casually to southern California).

STATUS: Locally common.

HABITAT: Inhabits coniferous forests, coastal islands, and inland lakes, usually within 12 miles from ocean.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Old growth coniferous forests.

NEST: Nests solitarily on bare rocks, below ledges, in rock cavities, on the ground, and in coniferous trees. Usually nests within 4 miles of the ocean but occasionally farther inland.

FOOD: Dives for food and consumes mostly small fish and various crustaceans but diet varies regionally.

REFERENCES: Terres 1980, Day et al. 1983, Carter and Sealy 1986.

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