Murres of Seal Island
Abundant, penguin-like birds of the cooler northern oceans, Common Murres can be seen sitting upright on cliffs. Common Murres weigh about 2.2 pounds (990 grams), and measure about 17.5 inches in length, with a wingspan of 26 inches. Sexes look similar, with a black back and head in breeding season; white breast and underside; and a long straight dark bill. Face and throat fade to white in non-breeding season.
In the Atlantic, some populations include “bridled” or “ringed” individuals, which have a white eye-ring and a white line extending backward from the eyes. Bridled birds are more common farther north. (Audubon Society)
The murres, like all alcids, use their wings for swimming and diving, and seem to fly through the water. This species is more abundant on the Pacific Coast of the United States than on the Atlantic, where it is outnumbered by the Thick-billed Murre. You can hear its calls here at Audubon!