Today’s Eco Activity: Egg-cellent Murre Habitat
During the summer months, the Thick-billed Murre gathers in massive colonies and breeds on seaside cliffs in the Arctic. Instead of making a nest for their eggs, these daring birds lay a single egg on the edge of a steep cliff! To prevent it from rolling over the edge, parents might gather pebbles to place them around the egg, like a mini pebble fence. They might even cover the egg and pebbles with their own poop to help it really stick. Once the hatchling is old enough, they will jump right off the cliff and glide down to the ocean, ready to take on the world!
Murres may not be the most graceful fliers with their awkward takeoff and stubby wings, but they can reach speeds of up to 120 kilometers an hour once they start soaring! Although a little goofy on land and in the air, they are truly some of the best swimmers and divers out there. When foraging for prey such as fish, squid, and other crustaceans, they are able to dive well over 100 metres into the ocean! This fabulous flying bird holds the world record for the deepest dive!
Colour these images and then cut them out. Don’t forget the Thick-Billed Murre’s signature black feathers! Colour the rocky coastal habitat on the next page, and then glue the images where they best belong!
Wanna lend a helping wing to some murres in need? Support important research to protect this species by purchasing a Thick-Billed Murre Wildlife Adoption kit!
Plus, don’t forget about tomorrow’s awesome Facebook Live event! Join us at 2pm EST as we chat with a real-life murre researcher and what it’s like to work on conservation projects from the side of a cliff!!
You can read even more about her research in this article on the Wild Wire.