Return of Bird of the Week: Thick-billed Murre

Wickersham's Conscience

Thick-billed Murre pair, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Alaska

There are more auklet species; WC just doesn’t have photos of them, so they won’t appear in RoBotW. Instead, we’ll move on to another genus of Alcids, the Murres.

The largest Alcid that has survived contact with humanity is this week’s Bird of the Week, the Thick-billed Murre.1

Common Murre in front; Thick-billed Murre behind. Note the differently shaped bills, slightly stockier Thick-billed and the white line on the upper mandible in the Thick-billed

The Thick-billed Murre is about 17 inches (43 cm) tall, and weighs just over 2.2 pounds (1.1 kg). That makes them slightly larger than their cogener, the Common Murre. The Atlantic population tends to be slightly smaller than the Pacific population.

In summer, this species is found in continental shelf waters of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas, shifting southward in winter. It nests on precipitous…

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One thought on “Return of Bird of the Week: Thick-billed Murre

  1. Beautiful. If I went back and started life again I would pay way more attention to birds. Even though I always loved them, I seem never to have given them the time they deserve.


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