Photo: The uncommon ability of the common murre

(Credit: Paul Nicklen)

The common murre has the uncommon ability to dive over 100 metres to catch its dinner, mostly for small schooling fish such as herring.

These seabirds spend the majority of their lives out at sea, only coming ashore to breed. They are so well adapted to the ocean that they can dive before learning to fly, and are better swimmers and divers than flyers.

The common murre is one of the species most often killed as a result of fisheries by-catch and chronic oiling in waters off the B.C. coast. So while their nesting site on Triangle Island (where 95% of the province's seabirds breed) is protected, they remain vulnerable out at sea where they forage for food for their young.

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