Brachyramphus marmoratus


   A member of the Alcid family, this bird is sometimes known as “penguins of the north.” While many sea birds are black on top and white on the bottom to better blend in with their marine environment, marbled murrelets have a marbled coloration during the breeding season that changes back to the tuxedo outfit after breeding. Their marbled coloration allows them to better match the dappled old growth forests in which they nest.

   Adults will choose a large tree, typically one over 200 years old, with branches wide enough for a nest. Logging and development of nesting grounds in the Pacific northwest has put the marbled murrelet on the endangered species list.