The thick-billed murre is 14-19 inches in length and has a wingspan of 30 inches. It has a white line on its upper jaw; a short rounded tail; black webbed feet and a short, pointed black bill. It has a black head, neck, back and wings and a white breast and belly. Both sexes look alike, but males are a little larger than females.
The thick-billed murre breeds off the coasts of coasts of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and Russia. It winters in coastal areas south to southern Alaska and New Jersey. When it is not breeding it lives on the open sea.