Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Thick-billed Murre - Uria lomvia
ALCIDAE Members:
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General Comments Quite similar to the Common Murre in appearance and in overall habits, the Thick-billed Murre is a slightly more northern/boreal counterpart. Yet, the latter species is more strongly migratory, such that the species is recorded in North Carolina waters every few years. Surprisingly, nearly all records of Thick-billed Murres are along the coast; one does not realistically seek the species on a pelagic trip, though north of the Carolinas the species can be seen on such boat trips. Instead, Thick-billeds have an affinity to forage in shallow inshore waters, such as around jetties, groins, or piers; some or many of these birds are likely sick or injured. There are no state records away from tidal water.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
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Coastal Plain Winter visitor, essentially coastal (inshore ocean); perhaps slightly declining in recent years. Very rare (approximately 23 records) along the entire coast, including the southern coast, where there are a handful of records for the Wrightsville Beach area. Only a few offshore records. The only Tidewater record is of one shot at the mouth of the Neuse River on 22 Dec 1896. Mainly from early Dec to late Mar, with a few records to 1 May (specimen) [Chat 69:116 link]. Peak counts: 3, Wrightsville Beach, 22 Mar 1986; 2, Bogue Inlet, 30 Mar 2005.
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips You will just have to luck into one along the coast in winter, though a more careful observer who scans waters around jetties and piers has a better chance than someone who has no scope.
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Attribution LeGrand[2017-08-23], LeGrand[2015-08-22], LeGrand[2012-06-23]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.
NA Maps
(source NatureServe)

View NatureServe distribution maps for Uria lomvia