Japanese Murrelet

The Japanese murrelet (or crested murrelet) is a seabird at risk of extinction, and the species is designated as a Natural Monument of Japan. It breeds only on remote islands and rocky reefs in the waters near Japan and in the southern regions of South Korea. Here in the Oki Islands, around April, the birds build nests and breed in the shade of grass or crevices in rocks on uninhabited islands, such as Hoshinokami-jima Island of Nishinoshima Town. One or two days after hatching, the hatchlings leave the island and enter the sea, where they will spend most of their lives; normally, they only visit land again to breed.
The Japanese murrelet is about 24 cm in size, with a long, black crest on top of its head. Recent findings have revealed that the Japanese murrelet seems to pass through the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan while circling the Japanese archipelago. This seabird actively dives and preys on fish and crustaceans.

  • Scientific Name

    Synthliboramphus wumizusume

  • Classification

    Family Alcidae

  • Migratory Classification

    Summer bird: migrates to islands for breeding grounds around December; breeds around April and quickly leaves islands