Long-billed Murrelet

Surprisingly, there are only three records of this Asian alcid in the state of Alaska. The species has been detected in many other states, and presumably must pass through the Bering Sea with some regularity. The first two Alaska records are of a specimen taken in Kodiak in1845 and a salvaged bird near Healy in August 1983. The only Pribilof record comes from a photographed bird off the seal blind on Reef Point on June 5, 2004. The new world equivalent of this species is the Marbled Murrelet, which occurs rarely in the Pribilofs. In basic plumage look for the all dark and straight edged nape and hindneck clearly separated from the white cheek and throat. In addition, Long-billed Murrelets should also show all dark lores and and a black cap that extends to just below the eye. This gives them the general pattern of Craveri’s Murrelet. Marbled Murrelets in basic plumage show a white hindneck collar and lores. In breeding plumage, Long-billed Murrelets are paler brown above, less scaled in the breast and possess a clean white throat. It should be noted that although this species is on average longer billed than Marbled Murrelets the bill length of the two species overlaps, so unless the bird in question is on the extreme end of the spectrum bill length is not a particularly useful identification feature.