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a genus of marine birds of the family Alcidae of the order Charadriiformes. The body is 24–29 cm long. There are two species: the marbled murrelet (B. marmoratus) and Kittlitz’s murrelet (B. brevirostris). The former nests in mountain forests on the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, in Kamchatka, and in northwestern North America. Kittlitz’s murrelet nests in the mountains along the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, on the Chukchi Peninsula, on Wrangel Island, and in northwestern North America. The birds nest in pairs, and the clutch contains one spotted egg. The young birds apparently get to the sea by swimming down mountain streams. Murrelets feed in the coastal waters of seas, eating crabs, mollusks, and small fish. In the winter they migrate to regions with open waters.