Murres


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Murres

 

(Uria), a genus of birds of the suborder Alciformes, order Charadriiformes. The body is 40–48 cm long; the weight, 0.8–1.2 kg. There are two species—the common murre (U. aalge) and the thick-billed murre (U. lomvia). Murres are found in the temperate and polar seas of the northern hemisphere. Their feet are webbed. Murres move awkwardly on land, supported on the metatarsal bone and the toes. Their flight is rapid, and they swim and dive, to 10 m or more, excellently, moving under water with their wings and using their legs as rudders. They nest on sea cliffs in large colonies, appearing at the sites in April and May. One egg is laid directly on the rock. The incubation period is 35 days. Outside the reproductive period, murres keep to the open sea, feeding on small fish, crustaceans, and other marine invertebrates.

In the USSR there are large breeding colonies of murres on the western Murmansk coast, Novaia Zemlia, many Arctic islands, Chukotka, Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin. The eggs and the birds are used as food.

REFERENCE

Kozlova, E. V. Rzhankoobraznye: Podotriad chistikovye. (Fauna SSSR: Ptitsy, vol. 2., fasc. 3.) Moscow-Leningrad, 1957.

N. N. KARTASHEV

References in periodicals archive ?
Common murres (Uria aalge) and Western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) naturally oiled by offshore petroleum seeps at the Ventura and Santa Barbara County coasts in southern California and presented for care at the International Bird Rescue wildlife clinic at LAOBCEC were enrolled in the study.
The survey indicated that the main goal of the recovery program was to increase the number of adult pairs of common murres living in Galicia from the current critical level (three to five pairs) up to 20 or to 60 pairs in a 10-yr period, depending on the survey version.
There were a lot more chick deaths than ever before, which is difficult to watch," says Parrish, the biologist who monitors the Tatoosh murre colony.
Polar/sub-polar] St Paul in Alaska's Pribilof Islands boasts the largest seabird nesting colonies in the northern hemisphere--some two-and-a-half million birds, including alcids such as common murres, crested auklets and tufted puffins.
That's what happened 16 years ago to survivors of an oil spill, which had dumped 25,000 gallons of crude just outside San Francisco Bay a few months before the murres gathered together to breed.
In the meantime, the murres must be thoroughly cleansed of oil, which destroys their feathers' natural waterproofing abilities and can cause them to freeze to death.
He had to observe the routine discarding of the gill net by-catch; the approximate 50 pounds of discarded sea creatures for every pound of the desired "number one" turbot; the shooting of seagulls, murres, whales, seals, and polar bears (one of the shooting crew members told Dwyer that dead whales make large crabs); the leaving of nets which continued "ghost fishing" (nets which could not be retrieved because of rough seas); and the throwing overboard of garbage and old torn fishing nets.
The removal of these predators has benefitted many other bird species on the islands, including puffins, murres, and auklets.
Here, we present evidence for a hierarchical spatial distribution of murres (Uria spp.
Observers on salmon boats in 1994 saw only one murrelet entangled but recorded 3,500 other birds snared, mostly common murres and rhinoceros auklets.
Sea-mammal and sea-bird remains predominate in the faunal collections from Rice Ridge, especially sea otters, murres, and auklets (Hausler-Knecht 1993).