Cassin's Auklet

Ptychoramphus aleuticus

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Auks, Murres and Puffins (Alcidae)

Code 4

CAAU

Code 6

PTYALE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Cassin's Auklet is native to the United States, Mexico and Canada. The range of this bird is about 400,000 square kilometers. The population of Cassin's Auklet is fairly significant, believed to be about 5 million individual birds. However, Cassin's Auklet has a current evaluation of Near Threatened because of ongoing, long-term declines caused by introduced predators on nesting islands, climate change, and oil spills.

SUMMARY

Overview

Cassin's Auklet: Small seabird with slate-gray upperparts, pale gray underparts, white belly. Pale yellow eyes with a white crescent patch above them. Short black bill has white spot at base of lower mandible that is visible at close range. Short tail and rounded wings. Rapid direct flight.

 

Range and Habitat

Cassin's Auklet: Breeds from the Aleutians down the Pacific Coast of North American to central Baja California. Winters in waters off the southern part of breeding range from southern British Columbia south. Pelagic, with preferred habitats consisting of open ocean; nests on sea cliffs and isolated headlands.

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Cassin's Auklet SONGS AND CALLS

Cassin's Auklet

Loud, shrill calls from a single bird.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"kreek"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • It is unusual amongst seabirds in occasionally laying a second clutch after a successful first clutch (it is the only northern hemisphere seabird to do so).
  • The Cassin's Auklet is named for John Cassin, a Pennsylvania businessman and naturalist.
  • Unlike many other auks it lacks dramatic breeding plumage, remaining the same over most of the year. At sea it is usually identified by its flight, which is described as looking like a flying tennis ball.
  • A group of auks has many collective nouns, including a "colony", "loomery", and "raft" of auks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
PelagicX
The pelagic is a type of bird whose habitat is on the open ocean rather than in a coastal region or on inland bodies of water (lakes, rivers). An example of a pelagic bird is the blacklegged kittiwake.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X