/merr"lit/, n.
any of several small, chunky diving birds of the family Alcidae, of North Pacific coasts.
[1870-75, Amer.; MURRE + -LET]

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      any of six species of small diving birds belonging to the auk family, Alcidae (order Charadriiformes). Murrelets are about 20 cm (8 inches) long, thin billed and, in winter, plain plumaged. They are sometimes called sea sparrows, as are auklets. In some species the young go to sea when only two days old. Their webbed feet are nearly full sized at hatching.

      Breeding in Alaska are the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus), seen as far south as California, and Kittlitz's murrelet, (B. brevirostris), which reaches Japan. Most southerly is Xantus's murrelet (Endomychura hypoleucus), which nests on the hot coast of Baja California and (like some gulls of the region) travels north in winter.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Murrelet — Murre let, n. [Murre + let.] (Zo[ o]l.) One of several species of sea birds of the genera {Synthliboramphus} and {Brachyramphus}, inhabiting the North Pacific. They are closely related to the murres. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • murrelet — [mʉr′lit] n. [ MURRE + LET] any of a number of small auklike birds found chiefly on N Pacific islands …   English World dictionary

  • murrelet — /ˈmɜlət/ (say merluht) noun any of several small, chunky diving birds found chiefly on coasts of the northern Pacific, as the marbled murrelet, Brachyramphus marmoratus, and the Japanese murrelet, Synthliboramphus wumizusume. {murre + let} …  

  • murrelet — noun Date: 1862 any of several small alcids of North Pacific islands and coasts …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • murrelet — noun Any of several species of small seabirds, in the genera Brachyramphus and Synthliboramphus of the auk family, found in the North Pacific. See Also: murre …   Wiktionary

  • murrelet — n. type of diving bird native of North Pacific coastline …   English contemporary dictionary

  • murrelet — [ mə:lɪt] noun a small North Pacific auk, typically having a grey back and white underparts. [Genera Brachyramphus and Synthliboramphus: six species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • murrelet — murre·let …   English syllables

  • murrelet — murre•let [[t]ˈmɜr lɪt[/t]] n. orn any of several small, chunky diving birds of the auk family, of N Pacific coasts • Etymology: 1870–75, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • murrelet — ˈmərlə̇t noun ( s) Etymology: murre + let : any of several small sea birds (family Alcidae) found chiefly on islands of the north Pacific …   Useful english dictionary

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