Whiskered Auklet

Aethia pygmaea




Auks, Murres and Puffins (Alcidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Dull white

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

35 - 36

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In crevices, under rocks.

Nest Material:

No material added to nest.





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. Sexes are similar. Winter adult is duller, with gray underparts merging into dull white on lower belly, has less distinctive crest, and has only faint whiskers. Juvenile resembles winter adult but lacks crest, has gray stripes on dark face, and smaller, dark bill.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Whiskered Auklet: One pear-shaped, dull white egg is laid in a nest built in a crevice of an inaccessible, overhanging ledge or rocky shore. Incubation ranges from 35 to 36 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Whiskered Auklet: Eats small crustaceans, marine worms, and mollusks; forages in turbulent waters.


Whiskered Auklet: Call is a piercing, chattering cry.

Similar Species

Whiskered Auklet: Crested Auklet is larger, has only one whisker on face, darker belly, and darker undertail coverts.


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

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.
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X