Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus)



  • BC: Blue – S3 (2022)
  • COSEWIC: Threatened
  • SARA: Threatened (2003)
  • Global: Vulnerable (2016)


Small ocean-going bird with a short bill, mottled brown in the non-breeding season and black above, white below during the breeding season. Feeds primarily on small schooling fish such as Pacific sandlance, Pacific herring, smelt, seapierch, and a variety of juvenile fish, particularly during the breeding season, with marine invertebrates such as crustaceans becoming more important during the winter.


Nests in old-growth coniferous trees or occasionally on coastal talus or cliff faces.


Resident along the Pacific coast of North America from the Aleutian Islands south to central California. Some wintering birds occasionally wander south into southern California.  In the Salish Sea, it is more commonly seen during the winter months.



The greatest threat to this species is the loss of old-growth forests to logging throughout its range.  It can also become entangled in gill nets.

Galiano Status

This species is occasionally spotted in the waters surrounding Galiano Island.

Photo Credit

Kirstin M. Tolle and Bryn Armstrong

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