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25 cm. White underneath with a black crown, nape, wings and back. The breeding plumage is mainly brown, with pale feather edges
It closely resembles the Marbled Murrelet, of which it was considered a subspecies until 1998, when Friesen et al showed that the mtDNA variation was greater between these two forms than between Marbled and Kittlitz's Murrelets.
Diet incudes small fish.
It nests in on branches of old-growth conifers. 1 egg is laid on a thick lichen- or moss-covered branch or hollow and is incubated for a month.
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