In winter, the male "Common Murre's" face turns white, and he sports a dark line behind his eye. Their short wings propel these consummate diving birds to depths of over 100 yards, and like all alcids, they use these appendages for flying also.
The "Common Murre" breeds on rocky coasts along the Arctic and subarctic regions of Alaska and Newfoundland, south to California and Massachusetts. The breeding male has an all-black head.
Calls or song.
Their purring and murmuring has led to the name, "Murre", however, this bird uses several guttural calls, such as "ARR-ahh" and "RAH-rah-rah-rah".
Population and distribution.
The species is more abundant on the Pacific Coast than on the Atlantic, where it is outnumbered by the "Thick-billed Murre".
These social creatures breed in huge colonies, seemingly shoulder to shoulder, where they incubate one large greenish-blue egg on a bare rock ledge.