Craveri’s Murrelet – Accepted

1. 14 Aug 1972


Moss Landing MTY



2-31. 09 Sep 1972


off San Diego SD









Craveri’s Murrelet

CRAVERI’S MURRELET Synthliboramphus craveri (Salvadori, 1865)

Accepted: 31 (100%)

Treated in Appendix H: no

Not accepted: 0

CBRC review: 1972 records1

Not submitted/reviewed: NA

Color image: none

This alcid nests on islands in the Gulf of California and probably on islands off the Pacific coast of the Baja California Peninsula north to the Islas San Benitos. During the summer months, birds disperse as far south as Nayarit and as far north as central California. A century ago this species was routinely collected north to Monterey Bay (Beck 1910); it now occurs there “almost annually,” primarily between mid August and early October, and especially during periods of warm surface-water temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean (Roberson 2002). Despite an apparent decrease off San Diego County since the 1980s (Unitt 2004), this may be the most numerous murrelet off southern California in late summer and early fall, at least during some years. During other years these birds may be scarce or even absent, and they may also move to the far offshore waters. An aseasonal bird was found dead on the beach at Coronado, San Diego County, 19 May 2006 (SDNHM 50824; NAB 60:437).

Perhaps because identification criteria were still being developed, Craveri’s Murrelet (or Craveri Murrelet per Olson 1996) appeared briefly on the CBRC’s review list in 1972. It was promptly withdrawn, however, after a 9 September 1972 boat trip off San Diego yielded at least 30 individuals.

Distinguishing Craveri’s Murrelet from the northern subspecies of Xantus’s Murrelet (S. h. scrippsi) can be difficult in the field. Jehl and Bond (1975), Roberson (1980, 1984), and Stallcup (1976, 1990) provided tips.


1On the review list 1972–1973