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Common Murre - Uria aalge
Photo by Rich Stallcup

Common Murres are medium size, penguin-like seabirds with a dark brown-black head, neck and back, and a white underbelly. They typically nest on cliff edges among other species such as puffins, cormorants, and gulls. The murre's voice is a raucous donkey-like bray. Murres are surface divers regularly reaching a depth of about100 feet, but have been recorded at depths of over 550 feet. Because they spend a great deal of time sitting on the water, they're especially vulnerable to oil spills and, before gillnets were banned in the Gulf of the Farallones, to entanglement and drowning.

Common Murre
(Uria aalge)

Alaska to southern California on the Pacific coast, and Labrador to Maine on the Atlantic coast

Rocky coasts



The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
Common Murres are a very vocal species and get their name from the "murmuring" noise they produce.

Learn More
- University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
- ARKive
- Bird Guides