Whiskered Auklet

Aethia pygmaea

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Auks, Murres and Puffins (Alcidae)

Code 4

WHAU

Code 6

AETPYG

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Whiskered Auklet is a small seabird found only on or near the Aleutian Islands and Commander Islands located off of Siberia. It is a poorly researched species, but received its name from the white whisker-like plumage on its head. It is not believed that this species migrates southward during the winter, but rather takes permanent residence in its breeding range. Nests are made within rocky crevices on the coastlines of its home islands. Feeding takes place inland from the coast, and typical diets consist of copepods in the summer and euphausiid krill in the fall and winter. The conservation rating for the Whiskered Auklet is Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Whiskered Auklet: Small seabird, mostly dark slate-gray with three thin, white whiskers on each side of face, long, thin, forward-curling black crest on forehead, and small, yellow-tipped bright orange bill. Eyes are white. Feeds on marine worms, small crustaceans, mollusks.

 

Range and Habitat

Whiskered Auklet: Breeds on Alaska's Aleutian Islands, where it is thought to nest on no more than 10 islands, and Asia's Commander Island, south to Kurile Island. It is also observed in the Sea of Okhotsk. These birds spend the winter in waters near nesting islands. Some Asian birds move further south to spend winters near Japan.

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Whiskered Auklet SONGS AND CALLS

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

No data available.

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Whiskered Auklet was originally described as two different species, from specimens collected at different ends of its range.
  • It is not thought to undertake migration, but instead attends its breeding islands year round.
  • It is one of the smallest alcids, only the closely related Least Auklet being smaller.
  • 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

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X