We asked whether the lack of a population response by ancient murrelets (Synthliboramphus antiquus) to eradication of rats (Rattus spp.) at Langara Island could be due to a change in vegetative cover. We quantified ancient murrelet habitat associations on 12 islands and assessed changes in vegetation at Langara Island between 1981 and 2007. We found that ancient murrelets exhibit a high degree of flexibility in their use of available breeding habitats, and we noted no changes over time. Thus, recovery of ancient murrelets at Langara Island is unlikely to be limited by habitat quality. We propose artificial social attraction as a method to speed recovery. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.