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Common murre


Common name Common murre
Scientific name Uria aalge
Type Seabirds
Status Rarity

Medium-sized seabird (approx 40 cm or 15.5 in) with an elongated body, thin bill and legs in a set back position. Dark brown upperparts and dirty white underparts. In winter head with white cheeks and throat, on which a continuous thin dark line from the eye stands out. In summer season completely darkened head.


Marine environment

Where it lives

Species linked to coastal cliffs, where it breeds. Outside the breeding season it is a bird that hardly steps on the coast, and always in warm waters and not far from it.

How it lives

Bird considered a winter rarity in the province. This species makes an annual laying of 1 single egg, but does not build nests. Instead, it uses ledges of cliffs or cracks, depositing the egg on the naked rock. The eggshell is very rough, which prevents it from rolling. This bird feeds on small and medium-sized fish (herrings, sardines, anchovies) that it catches while swimming and with its head submerged. When it finds a prey the murre dives, captures and swallows it while still submerged.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

The few observations of common murres in Malaga are concentrated in the beach at the mouth of the Guadalhorce and at Punta Calaburras (Mijas).

Curious facts

In the Iberian Peninsula the Common Murre breeds exclusively in a very restricted area of the Costa da Morte. It was one of the most damaged birds by the Prestige spill (caused by the sinking of an oil tanker), that left its breeding population near extinction.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration