Any of certain black-and-white seabirds (genus Uria, family Alcidae) that are about 16 in. (40 cm) long and breed from the Arctic Circle to Nova Scotia, California, Portugal, and Korea. Murres nest in vast numbers on sheer cliffs. When half grown, the single chick enters the sea with its parents to escape gulls and skuas. In autumn the birds swim south. See also guillemot.
Common murres (Uria aalge), ringed phase at left—R.J. Tulloch/Bruce Coleman Inc.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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