murre


murre
/merr/, n.
1. either of two black and white diving birds of the genus Uria, of northern seas, U. aalge (common murre) or U. lomvia (thick-billed murre).
[1595-1605; orig. uncert.]

* * *

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./EB Inc.

* * *

bird
 any of certain black and white seabirds comprising the genus Uria of the auk family, Alcidae. In British usage the two species of Uria are called guillemots (guillemot), along with Cepphus species. Murres are about 40 cm (16 inches) long. They nest in vast numbers on sheer cliffs, each pair laying a single egg. The chick matures rapidly; when half-grown it enters the sea, in parental company, to escape marauding gulls and skuas. In autumn the birds travel south by swimming.

      The common murre (U. aalge) breeds from the Arctic Circle south to Nova Scotia, California, Portugal, and Korea. Atlantic populations include the so-called bridled, or ringed, murre, a mutation that shows, in breeding season, a ring around the eye and a thin, white stripe behind the eye. This characteristic is nearly absent in murres of Portugal but increases toward the northwest and is seen in 70 percent of Icelandic murres. Beyond Iceland, bridling is uncommon, and it does not occur in Pacific populations.

      The thick-billed, or Brünnich's, murre (U. lomvia), with a somewhat heavier beak, often nests farther north, to Ellesmere Island and other islands within the Arctic Circle, where the common murre is absent. There is some overlap in breeding grounds, however, and the two species nest in common on some islands.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Murre — Murre, n. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of sea birds of the genus {Uria}, or {Catarractes}; a guillemot. [1913 Webster] Note: The murres are allied to the auks, and are abundant on the northern coasts of Europe and America. They often… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • murre — murre; murre·let; …   English syllables

  • murre — [mʉr] n. pl. murres or murre [< ?] any of a genus (Uria) of swimming and diving alcidine shorebirds …   English World dictionary

  • murre — noun black and white diving bird of northern seas • Hypernyms: ↑guillemot • Hyponyms: ↑common murre, ↑Uria aalge, ↑thick billed murre, ↑Uria lomvia • Member Holonyms: ↑Uria, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • murre — narūnėliai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Uria angl. murre vok. Lumme, f rus. кайра, f pranc. marmette, f ryšiai: platesnis terminas – alkiniai siauresnis terminas – laibasnapis narūnėlis siauresnis terminas –… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • murre — noun Etymology: origin unknown Date: 1602 any of a genus (Uria) of black and white alcids; especially a common seabird (U. aalge) of northern seas …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • murre — noun any of the seabirds of the genus Uria in the auk family Syn: guillemot, razorbill …   Wiktionary

  • murre — see myrre …   Old to modern English dictionary

  • murre — white breasted North Atlantic seabird Unusual Animals …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • murre — n. type of diving bird native of northern seas …   English contemporary dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.