black above, pure white underneath (California, USA; 2009-08-08)

Xantus's Murrelet
Synthliboramphus hypoleucus

Native Range: North America and Middle America

Notes: a mostly nocturnal, penguin-like bird that returns at night to feed its chicks after foraging at open sea; wing-propelled diver for small fish and squid; a strong-winged flyer that need not taxi for takeoff; nests colonially in crevices and burrows on islands off southern California and the Baja Peninsula; formerly abundant but its populations have been decimated by feral rats and cats introduced by humans; now considered a threatened or endangered species.