Nest in old-growth trees in forested areas or on ground on islands and along coasts near sea-facing talus slopes or cliffs (USFWS 2006a, Nelson 1997). Require available platforms with moss or thick substrate (Nelson 1997). Nest associated variables in Alaska were heads of bays, percent epiphyte on trees, tree diameter, presence of nesting platform, and percent cover of old-growth trees (Kuletz et al. 1995). In Prince William Sound, nests were at low elevations near heads of bays with extensive cover of large old-growth trees (Kuletz et al. 1995, Naslund et al. 1995). Along the Kenai coast, however, heads of bays were recently deglaciated and murrelet activity was highest on outer peninsulas, where forest cover was greatest (Kuletz et al. 1995). On Naked, Kodiak, and Afognak Islands, all nests were in old-growth forests on moss-covered platforms of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), mountain hemlock (T. mertensiana) and Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) (Naslund et al. 1995). Ford (1995) reported a cliff-top nest in old-growth forest in southeastern Alaska.
Ford, C. 1995. Unusual marbled murrelet nest. Wilson Bull., 107(1):178-179.
Kuletz, K. J., D. K. Marks, N. L. Naslund, N. J. Goodson, and M. B. Cody. 1995. Inland habitat suitability for Marbled Murrelets in southcentral Alaska. Pp. 141-150 in Ecology and conservation of the Marbled Murrelet (C. J. Ralph, G. L. Hunt, Jr., M. G. Raphael, and J. F. Piatt, eds.). USDA, USFS Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW 152, Albany, CA.
Naslund, N. L., K. J. Kuletz, M. B. Cody, and D. K. Marks. 1995. Tree and habitat characteristics and reproductive success at marbled murrelet tree nests in Alaska. Northwestern Naturalist 76:12-15
Nelson, S. K. 1997. Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) In The Birds of North America, No.276 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’ Union.
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