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Length 9.75 inches (25 cm), wingspan 15 inches (38 cm)
 Similar Species
Distinguished from two other murrelets in range, Craveri's and Marbled, by white wing linings, shorter bill and less black on face than Craveri's, longer bill and more solidly black upperparts than Marbled.
Outside of the breeding season, it ranges along the continental shelf from Baja California north, frequently to northern California and more rarely to British Columbia.
Nests on arid, rocky islands; otherwise pelagic in warm waters. Rarely seen from shore.
The diet includes tuna, anchovies, sardines and rockfish.
They nest in small crevices or under thick bushes on dry islands in loose scattered colonies. The adults only visit the nest at night. The clutch consists of 2 eggs which are incubated for about a month. The chicks leave the nest after two days of hatching joining up with the adults on the water.
 External Links
With a populations estimated to total only 5,600 birds and a very small breeding range, Xantus's Murrelet is considered to be at high risk of extinction on several bird conservation lists:
BirdLife International: Vulnerable - http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=3311&m=0
Audubon WatchList 2007: Red - http://web1.audubon.org/science/species/watchlist/profile.php?speciesCode=xanmur
American Bird Conservancy WatchList 2007: Red - http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/science/watchlist/xantus_murrelet.html
U.S. Endangered Species Act: Candidate - http://ecos.fws.gov/species_profile/servlet/gov.doi.species_profile.servlets.SpeciesProfile?spcode=B098