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Ancient Murrelet - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Glenn Bartley
Synthliboramphus antiquus


Nonbreeding plumage
Photo by Glen Tepke
Monterey Bay, California, USA, 21 January 2007
  • Black head, throat and rear neck
  • Grey back
  • White underparts
  • Short, stubby yellow bill
  • Small rounded black tail

Summer plumage adults have white head streaks.


North America, Central America, Asia
North America: Canada: British Columbia, Quebec. United States: New England, Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Washington
Central America: Mexico: Baja California
Asia: Russia, Siberia, China, Korea



Subspecies antiquus
Photo © by binus1963
Alert Bay, Canada, 2019

There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • S. a. antiquus:
  • S. a. microrhynchos:
  • Komandorskiye Islands; winters to Ryukyu Islands


Open sea.



The nest is a burrow excavated among tree roots, under logs or in grass tussocks, sometimes in rock crevices. One or two eggs are laid.


The diet includes small fish and crustaceans.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Answers.com

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.