Murre Pairings

On the way out toward Low Island this morning I noticed several pairs of Common Murres with one member appearing to be fully transitioned to summer styles and the other still clearly in winter.   These were isolated pairs, and I think almost every pair I noticed was like this (which may have amounted to something like 5 or 6 – I didn’t keep careful count).  I didn’t take any pictures at the time, and unfortunately on the way back the murres seemed to be in groups of three or more.  It makes me wonder if perhaps males and females have different molt timing, or something like that.  I followed up by checking the Birds of North America On-line account and wasn’t absolutely sure how to interpret the molting information, but as best I could tell, in some years females molt prior to males.  Perhaps this is a year where that’s occurring – guess I’ll have to try and watch in future years to see if it’s happening then as well.

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