In accord with melanism being uncommon in birds, we could find only six published records of completely melanistic Common Murres Uria aalge, one of the most widely and intensively studied of all seabirds. We added to the record by observing a Common Murre in completely dark, melanistic alternate plumage every summer from 2017 to 2021 at Gull Island in Kachemak Bay, Alaska, USA. In 2017, the bird frequented the colony periphery, indicating that it could have been a subadult. Subsequently, it occupied the same narrow rock ledge within the colony every summer from 2018 to 2021, an indication that it may have been attempting to breed. Because we have been conducting long-term monitoring on Gull Island, we are in the unique position to be able to monitor the attendance and reproductive performance of this distinctively marked murre into the future.
|Title||Melanism in a Common Murre Uria aalge in Kachemak Bay, Alaska|
|Authors||Sarah K. Schoen, Mayumi L. Arimitsu, Caitlin Elizabeth Marsteller, Brielle M. Heflin|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Marine Ornithology: Journal of Seabird Research and Conservation|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Alaska Science Center Biology MFEB|