The Xantus’s Murrelet was recently separated into the Scripps’s and Guadalupe Murrelet. The Guadalupe Murrelet is endangered due to its small breeding range limited to a few islands off the west coast of Baja California. Major population declines are thought to have been from cat predation and other invasive animals. Other threats to the species include bright lights from squid fishing boats disturbing the murrelet’s activities, nest site disturbances, drift gill-nets causing drowning and possibly oil spills.
My reference for this oil painting was a photo of a Marbled Murrelet in its black and white winter plumage that I took while conducting biological field work. I changed the plumage pattern and narrowed the beak to change it into a Guadalupe Murrelet. Since the bird is black and white, I decided to emphasize the sunrise reflecting in the water.