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Year-round Use of Coastal Lakes by Marbled Murrelets

Harry R. Carter and Spencer G. Sealy
The Condor
Vol. 88, No. 4 (Nov., 1986), pp. 473-477
DOI: 10.2307/1368273
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1368273
Page Count: 5
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Year-round Use of Coastal Lakes by Marbled Murrelets
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Abstract

Sixty-seven records (from 1909 to 1984) of Marbled Murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) using 33 freshwater lakes along the west coast of North America (78.6% in British Columbia, 12.1% in Alaska, 6.1% in Washington, and 3.0% in Oregon) were compiled and analyzed. The preponderance of records from southern British Columbia lakes possibly reflects the abundance of coastal lakes there that are accessible to high numbers of murrelets and observers. Fifty-three of the lake-use records were obtained during the species' breeding season (April through September); 13 were from the nonbreeding season (October to March). Most lakes used were within 20 km of the ocean, but a few murrelets were reported at lakes 50 to 75 km inland (Cultus, Harrison, and Swan Lakes, British Columbia). The multiple records of Marbled Murrelets using Cultus and Harrison Lakes suggest that these lakes are near nesting areas, and as such, are the farthest distances inland Marbled Murrelets can be expected to nest. Five or less individuals usually were reported in each record, although up to 46 were seen in summer on Nitinat Lake, Vancouver Island. Feeding occurred on some lakes in British Columbia, apparently mainly at night: the stomachs of four murrelets contained fingerling sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), while another stomach contained the remains of salmon fry.

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