A Marbled Murrelet Fledges from Big Basin
The Mysterious Murrelet
Listed under the Endangered Species Act since 1992, the marbled murrelet is a rare and elusive seabird, under threat by oil spills, unsustainable fishing, and onshore habitat loss. Marbled murrelets are small and chunky—they’re often described as a flying potato with a beak. For more than half the year, birds sport greyish feathers with black-dipped wings and heads; during breeding season, adults turn a mottled brown. Marbled murrelets fly over the redwoods at dawn and at dusk—en route to the ocean to catch fish, or to their hidden nests, often found in complex old-growth redwood canopies. Learn more about the marvels and mystery of the marbled murrelet.
A Remarkable Discovery
Murrelet habitat was feared to be decimated by the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex wildfires, as many crown fires among old-growth coast redwoods and Douglas fir trees cleared out canopies of their protective cover. But in July 2021, deep in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, a researcher happened upon a murrelet nest. What happened next had never been caught on film before. Watch:
Posted compliments of © Frans Lanting / www.lanting.com
Help Reimagine Big Basin
It will take some time for the forests of Big Basin to recover. The redwoods themselves will take decades to heal. But you can get involved.
- Help California State Parks with their efforts to Reimagine Big Basin. Visit their website to get involved.
- Support Sempervirens Fund’s efforts to fund Big Basin’s recovery and to restore redwood forests in the Santa Cruz mountains. Make a donation to our recovery and restoration funds today.