Marbled Murrelet, Brachyramphus marmoratus

Marbled Murrelets
These small seabirds, mostly found in coastal waters, are famous for nesting exclusively in the upper branches of taller evergreens, in California particularly old-growth redwoods. Logging has diminished their breeding habitat in the Lower 48 states, where the species is listed as threatened. They are shy and hard to approach at sea, usually seen at a considerable distance and only briefly before they dive, as above, from a boat just outside Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay; below, a view from shore near the mouth of Santa Cruz harbor during Fall 2014, an exceptional season in which both Marbled and Ancient Murrelets were often seen close in.

Marbled Murrelet