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Cassin's Auklet

Ptychoramphus aleuticus ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: ALCIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

A small, dark, gregarious seabird, the Cassin's Auklet can be found feeding in flocks and nesting in colonies from Alaska to Mexico.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
9.1 in
23 cm
Weight
5.3–7.1 oz
150–200 g
Other Names
  • Starique de Cassin (French)
  • Alcuela norteamericana (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Cassin's Auklet is the only alcid known to produce two broods in a single breeding season, at least in the southern part of the range where birds may be seen at nesting colonies every month of the year.
  • Vulnerable to predators, especially large gulls, the Cassin's Auklet tends to visit its nest at night.
  • The oldest recorded Cassin's Auklet was at least 16 years, 2 months old when it was found in California in 1993. It had been banded in the same state in 1978.

Habitat


Ocean

Food


Insects

Nesting

Nest Placement

Burrow

Behavior


Surface Dive

Dives underwater to capture prey, using its wings to swim.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Near Threatened

There is little information on population trends of Cassin's Auklet, but the species appears to be declining. Cassin's Auklet is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. Colonies are threatened by predators, especially introduced predators (cats, fox, rats), and grazing animals (goats). The species is also vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as coastal upwelling systems. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a continental population of 3.2 to 3.57 million birds and lists it as a Species of Moderate Concern. It rates an 11 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Cassin's Auklet is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds Watch List.

Credits

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