Breed in colonies on forested islands or islands covered with grass or forbs. In British Columbia, nests under Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and western redcedar and nests farther inland than any other colonial alcid in the province (Campbell et al. 1990). Rears chicks entirely at sea (USFWS 2006a). Forages off Continental Shelf or slope waters and sometimes inshore waters (Bent 1919, Gaston 1992).
Bent, A. C. 1919. Life histories of North American diving birds. U. S. National Museum Bulletin No. 107.
Campbell, R. W., N. K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J. M. Cooper, G. W. Kaiser, and M. C. E. McNall. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia. Vol. 1 and 2, Nonpasserines. UBC Press, Vancouver, B.C.
Gaston, A. J. 1992. The Ancient Murrelet: a natural history in the Queen Charlotte Islands. T. & A. D. Poyser, London.
USFWS. 2006a. Alaska Seabird Information Series (ASIS) Draft report. Compiled by Lynn Denlinger. USFWS, Migratory Bird Management, Nongame Program, Anchorage, AK. Available online at: http://alaska.fws.gov/mbsp/mbm/seabirds/species.htm.