Common Murre

I watched two Common Murres, a male with a nearly-grown chick,  at the south jetty of the Columbia River. Common Murres are common nesters on offshore rocks and cliffs along the Oregon coast. When the chicks are still very small, they leap into the sea and spend the rest of the summer following Dad around as they continue to grow.

The parent/child pair are very vocal. The young murre calls with a high peeping noise, while this adult sounded amazingly similar to a Mallard.


young Common Murre following male parent


The adult starts his dive for food. Murres use their wings to fly under water, so the wings unfold as the dive begins.


Dad disappears as the chick calls. (what did we do before cameras had “burst mode”?)


The young murre waits for the parent to return with a fish. This chick was large enough to dive on his own, and spent almost as much time under water as the parent.

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