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I did some googling to estimate the probability that the murrelet seen at 
Smithville Lake was an Anclient or Long-billed Murrelet. Interestingly, my 
search also turned up a third possibility that I wondered to myself about 
when I read Doug Willis' description -- Dovekie.

Ancient Murrelet, Long-billed Murrelet and Dovekie are all on the Manitoba, 
Saskatchewan,  Arkansas, Wisconsin, Indiana,  Texas, Ontario, Ohio and 
Tennesee checklists.
Ancient Murrelet and Dovkie are both on the Minnesota  and Illinois 
checklists.
Ancient Murrelet and Long-billed Murrelet are both on the Colorado, Iowa , 
Oklahoma and Kentucky checklists.
Anscient Murrelet is on the Nebraska checklist.
Long-billed Murrelet is on the Kansas checklist

Long-billed Murrelet has been seen near Louisville, Kentucky and on Reelfoot 
Lake, Tennesee.
The Kansas record was from Wilson reservoir 11/21/97 and perhaps early in 
the morning on 11/22. (I got there  in the middle of the day 11/22)

They're all around us!

As of  2001, there were about 50 records of Long-billed Murrelet in North 
America. See
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/crows/lbmurrelet.htm.  About half of those 
records are from the west coast and a smattering of the remainder are from 
the east coast from Newfoundland to Florida. Nevertheless, there are quite a 
few interior records,  including 2 from Colorado, 2 from Wyoming, 3 from 
Indiana and singles from Cayuga Lake in NY, Ohio and Montana.

Unlike its sister species, Marbled Murrelet, of which Long-billed Murrelet 
was long deemed a subspecies, Long-billed Murrelt is a long distance 
migrant. It breeds in Siberia and winters off Japan. Marbled Murrelet, which 
breeds along the west coast of the U.S. and Canada, winters close to its 
breeding locations.

Long-billed Murrelet and Ancient Murrelet have both been recorded in Devon, 
UK.

The map on the following website purports to detail N.A. records of Ancient 
Murrelet:
http://www.rarebirds.com/species/401/

At least two Ancient Murrelet records, the ones from Illinois and New 
Mexico, are of birds found sitting on roads and captured alive. The New 
Mexico bird still had plenty of fat reserves, but it did die the next day.

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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