lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

Message to a Murrelet

Here is one of my own poems – the Scripp’s Murrelet chick dives in to the sea less than 24 hours after it has hatched, and having had no food at all. It is hatched fully-feathered and a third of the size of its parents – the murrelet has the largest egg to bird ratio in the world. The parents leave the cliff crevice nest and fly out to the sea, and call the chick, which plunges from the cliff into the surf and swims to meet its parents. It is the only seabird raised entirely at sea.




Message To a Baby Murrelet


Baby murrelet

how will you fare

in the wind and sun

on the ocean there,


leaving your nest

to jump in the surf

just two days after

your egg-hatched birth?


I follow my parents,

they cry out to me

as they ride the swell

on the rising, green sea.


How do your parents

guide you and guard,

when your world becomes

just water and dark?


What do you do

in wind rush and storm,

tossing and plunging

when waves grow strong?


The ocean is where

I am at home,

wind in feather, air in bone,

part ocean, part foam.



© Liz Brownlee

Image © Stonebird shown by Creative Commons License.




  1. Lovely poem, Liz. I’ve just been watching barnacle geese chicks dropping off cliffs and being guided into the water by their parents. Isn’t nature extraordinary?


    • It is, I just can’t get my head around how they stay together in a storm, in the dark. It’s extraordinary.


  2. Beautiful poem, Liz. Thank you. And thank you for calling my attention to the Murrelet. You always come up with such awesome animals! 🙂


  3. I love the cradly-rocking rhythm of this poem, Liz, though the thought of the mother bird producing an egg a third of her own size makes my eyes water!


    • Thank you. I’m hoping she is suitably equipped, Liz!


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