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Xantus's Murrelet - Synthliboramphus hypoleucus
Photo by CINMS

The Xantus's Murrelet is not only a rarely observed offshore species, it is considered one of the rarest seabirds in the entire world. Nesting is concentrated in only four locations, so disruption in these places can be catastrophic for the species. They leave their nests only at night to decrease the risk of losing their eggs. Regardless, eggs are taken by introduced rats on the Channel Islands and by feral cats off of Baja California.

Xantus's Murrelet
(Synthliboramphus hypoleucus)

Eastern Pacific coast, Washington to Baja California

Found 20-100km offshore and nests predominantly on rocky ledges, sometimes in dense vegetation.

Anchovies, rockfish, crustaceans and fish larvae


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

Quick Fact
More than 25% of the world’s population of Xantus's Murrelets live in the Santa Barbara region.

Learn More
- Southern Adventist University