The center received 37 of the birds over the past week and a total of 134 murres since the beginning of the year. The likely cause of the influx is unusually warm ocean waters, which are driving the fish the murres eat into deeper, cooler water where they are out of reach of the birds.
Prior to late July, almost all of the murres were adults, but since then 16 of the weakened and emaciated birds have been juveniles. A common murre eats more than a pound of fish a day and will consume 50 pounds of fish during a six-week stay at the rehabilitation center.
Common murres spend most of their lives at sea and are rarely seen on the coast. They only seek land for nesting, typically on sea stacks and rocky cliffs.