Marbled Murrelet

Kim Nelson

Latin name: Brachyramphus marmoratus

Marbled Murrelets have declined across much of their range and currently are listed as threatened, primarily due to loss of their older forest nesting habitat. Kim Nelson is working with colleagues to determine more about the drivers of population decline by catching birds at sea, attaching VHF transmitters, and tracking their inland and at-sea movements with planes and drones. Monitoring nests and nesting success should help identify management options to recover the species.

Did you know? Unlike their alcid relatives (e.g., puffins), Brachyramphus murrelets nest in forests or on the ground (northern portion of range) up to 89 km inland from the coast.

More information

Publications:

Research paper

Barbaree, B.A., S.K. Nelson, and B.D. Dugger. 2015. Marine space use by Marbled Murrelets Brachyramphus marmoratus at a mainland fjord system in Southeast Alaska. Marine Ornithology 43:1-10.

Hagar, J.C., B.N.I. Eskelson, P.K. Haggerty, S.K. Nelson, and D.G. Vesely. 2014. Modeling Marbled Murrelet habitat using LIDAR-derived canopy data. Wildlife Society Bulletin DOI: 10.1002/wsb.407.

Barbaree, B.A., S.K. Nelson, B.D. Dugger, D.D. Roby, H.R. Carter, D.L. Whitworth, and S.H. Newman. 2014. Nesting ecology of Marbled Murrelets at a remote mainland fjord in Southeast Alaska. Condor 116:173-184.

Haynes, T.B., S.K. Nelson, and V.M. Padula. 2011. Dynamics of multi-species feeding associations in marine waters near Juneau, Alaska. Marine Ornithology 39:227-234.

Haynes, T.B., S.K. Nelson, F. Poulson, and V.M. Padula. 2011. Spatial distribution and habitat use of Marbled Murrelets at sea in Port Snettisham, Alaska. Marine Ornithology 39:151-162.

Nelson, S.K., M.H. Huff, S.L. Miller, and M.G. Raphael. 2006. Marbled Murrelet biology, habitat relations and populations. Pages 9-30 in Huff, M.H., M.G. Raphael, S.L. Miller, S.K. Nelson, and J. Baldwin, tech. coords. Northwest Forest Plan—The first 10 years (1994-2003): status and trends of populations and nesting habitat for the Marbled Murrelet. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report PNW-GTR-650, Portland, OR.

Nelson, S.K. 2003. Marbled Murrelet. Pages 290-293 in D. B. Marshall, M. G. Hunter, and A. L. Contreras. Birds of Oregon: A general reference. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis.

Whitworth, D.L., S.K. Nelson, S.H. Newman, G.B. Van Vliet, and W.P. Smith. 2000. Foraging distances of radio-marked Marbled Murrelets from inland areas in southeast Alaska. Condor 102: 452-456.

Nelson, S.K. 1997. Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus). Pages 1-32 in A. Poole and F. Gill, eds. Birds of North America, No. 276. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia; The American Ornithologists Union, Washington, D.C.

Nelson, S.K. and R.W. Peck. 1995. Behavior of the Marbled Murrelet at nine nest sites in Oregon. Pages 43-53 in S.K. Nelson and S.G. Sealy, eds. Biology of the Marbled Murrelet: Inland and At-Sea. Northwestern Naturalist 76(1).

Nelson, S.K. and T.E. Hamer. 1995. Nesting biology and behavior of the Marbled Murrelet. Pages 57-68 in C.J. Ralph, G.L. Hunt, Jr., M.G. Raphael, and J.F. Piatt, eds. Ecology and conservation of the Marbled Murrelet. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report PSW-GTR-152, Albany, CA.

Hamer, T.E. and S.K. Nelson. 1995. Characteristics of Marbled Murrelet nest trees and nesting stand. Pages 69-82 in C.J. Ralph, G.L. Hunt, Jr., M.G. Raphael, and J.F. Piatt, eds. Ecology and conservation of the Marbled Murrelet. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report PSW-GTR-152, Albany, CA.

Nelson, S.K. and T.E. Hamer. 1995. Nest success and the effects of predation on Marbled Murrelets. Pages 89-98 in C.J. Ralph, G.L. Hunt, Jr., M.G. Raphael, and J.F. Piatt, eds. Ecology and conservation of the Marbled Murrelet. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, General Technical Report PSW-GTR-152, Albany, CA.