Xantus's Murrelet

The species is named for the Hungarian ornithologist John Xantus de Vesey who described it from specimens collected off Baja California.

The Xantus's Murrelet is classified as Vulnerable (VU), considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

is a Xantus's Murrelet of the northern race scrippsi, which is typically the more likely species on Monterey Bay. Having plenty of experience with both species, I now find bill size/shape to be very useful in the field (with initial impressions often confirmed later by underwings or other features). A real Craveri's Murrelet (in flight) is shown at right. More

Xantus's Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) is a small seabird found in the California Current system in the Pacific Ocean. This auk breeds on islands off California and Mexico. It is threatened by predators introduced to its breeding colonies and by oil spills. The species is named for the Hungarian ornithologist John Xantus de Vesey who described it from specimens collected off Baja California. More

The Xantus's Murrelet has a very small range off the coast of California in the United States and extending only so far as the Baja peninsula in Mexico. Though this bird can be found in Canada, Mexico and the United States the California colonies are the only self-sustaining. The global population of this bird is estimated to be only a few thousand breeding pairs. This equates to roughly 39,700 total individuals. More

day, the Xantus's murrelet hunts for fish around the islands. (photo: Channel Islands NMS) Download/Display 300 dpi image NOAA logo Revised March 10, 2010 by Sanctuaries Web Group Many links leave the National Marine Sanctuary Web Site - please view our Link Disclaimer for more information National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Privacy Policy | Contact Us http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/pgallery/pgchannel/living/living_1. More

Appearance: The Xantus's Murrelet is a diminutive bird.At just under 10 inches in length, it is slightly smaller than an American Robin. Adults have a 15-inch wingspan and weigh only six ounces. Black above and white on the chin, throat, and belly, Xantus's Murrelet is very similar in appearance to Craveri's Murrelet, a species that shares a similar range. The two are most easily separated in flight by the distinct white underwing of the Xantus's. More

season, the entire Xantus's Murrelet population is concentrated within a fairly small region off the coasts of southern California and Mexico. The American population nests entirely within California's Channel Islands, while the Mexican population nests primarily on the Baja California islands of San Benito and Guadalupe. Population Status & Trends Xantus's Murrelet numbers have been decreasing over the past century. Their historically small range has also been shrinking as populations have been eliminated entirely from certain locations. More

● Foraging & Feeding: Xantus's Murrelet: Feeds on small fish; forages by diving and pursuing prey underwater. Breeding success may depend on availability of prey. ● Breeding & nesting: Xantus's Murrelet: One or two blue or green eggs with brown spots are laid among boulders or in a crevice near an island beach. Incubation ranges from 27 to 44 days and is carried out by both parents. More

The Xantus's Murrelet's chicks leave the nest for the ocean at just two days old. Xantus's Murrelet feeds far out at sea, often in association with large pelagic predatory fish like tuna, on larval fish like anchovies, sardines and Sebastes rockfish. Like all auks it is a wing-propelled diver, chasing down prey under the water with powerful wingbeats. There is some speculation that it may feed cooperatively in pairs, as it is almost always observed in pairs, even during the non-breeding season. More

Xantus's Murrelet Becomes a Candidate for Listing in California - November 4, 2002 Contact: Nora Rojek, DFG Seabird Biologist (831) 649-2872 Carrie Wilson, DFG Marine Region (831) 649-7191 The California Fish and Game Commission has designated the Xantus's murrelet, a small seabird, as a threatened species candidate under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The Commission also adopted emergency regulations governing incidental take of Xantus's murrelet during the candidacy period. More

By the end of the 20th century, Xantus's Murrelet was considered to be among the most endangered species of auk.. This has changed since, but not because the present species' status has improved, but because other auks (e.g. Kittlitz's Murrelet) have become rarer. The species is currently classified as Vulnerable (VU B2ab(iv,v); C2a(ii)) by the IUCN. Xantus's Murrelet is mainly threatened by oil spills, as much of its population lives near the busy shipping lanes connecting Los Angeles to other ports. More

Xantus's Murrelet is found mostly off Baja and southern California in pairs or faimily groups, but not flocks. It nests on offshore islands and is rarely seen from the mainland. Additional Information Please visit audubon.org for more information on Xantus's Murrelet. birdlife.org BirdLife International Visit Birdlife.org for in-depth information. more... Audubon Xantus's Murrelet Audubon.org is a great birding information source. more... More

Order : Charadriiformes
Family : Alcidae
Genus : Synthliboramphus
Species : hypoleucus
Authority : Xántus de Vesey, 1860