Kittlitz’s Murrelet – Accepted

1. 16 Aug 1969

HY male

La Jolla SD



ph., SDNHM 37215, Devillers (1972)


Kittlitz’s Murrelet – Not accepted, identification not established

15 Mar 1991

2 pairs

Shelter Cove HUM




05 Sep 2000


n jetty Humboldt Bay HUM















Kittlitz’s Murrelet

KITTLITZ’S MURRELET Brachyramphus brevirostris (Vigors, 1829)

Accepted: 1 (17%)

Treated in Appendix H: no

Not accepted: 5

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 0

Color image: none

This small seabird breeds in western and south-central Alaska, from Pt. Hope (rare) south locally through the Aleutian Islands and east to Glacier Bay, and in eastern Siberia, mainly on the Chukotskiy Peninsula. Birds wander casually to the Kuril Islands and have reached British Columbia and Washington.

A Brachyramphus murrelet picked up on a beach at La Jolla, San Diego County, 16 August 1969, was initially published as a young Marbled (AFN 24:100a), but Devillers’ examination of the specimen (1972) showed it to be a male Kittlitz’s Murrelet in a plumage (juvenal) undescribed at the time. Since the date is remarkably early for a bird of the year to be so far from its northerly breeding grounds, the CBRC was particularly concerned about the possibility of assisted passage (Luther et al. 1979, Binford 1985).

The Marbled Murrelet in juvenal and formative plumages can have the face extensively white, as can the nominate subspecies of Xantus’s Murrelet, so field identification should rest upon multiple characters including bill size and upperpart plumage (see Devillers 1972, Stallcup 1990).