• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer

Parakeet Auklet

Aethia psittacula ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: ALCIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A distinctive little seabird with a nearly circular bill. The Parakeet Auklet has the widest distribution of all the Alaskan auklets, but it doesn't form large flocks like the others, either at sea or in breeding colonies.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
9.1–10.2 in
23–26 cm
Weight
8.4–12.2 oz
238–347 g
Other Names
  • Starique perroquet (French)
  • (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Parakeet Auklets frequently eat plastic pellets they find floating at sea. Although eating these pellets probably poses a risk, no harmful effects have yet been demonstrated.
  • Unusual bill structure is probably an adaptation for handling slimy gelatinous prey, like jellyfish, although it is unclear exactly how the bill is used.
  • On land, Parakeet Auklets walk mostly on their legs and not their toes.

Habitat


Ocean

  • Breeds on islands with rock crevices, cliffs, and boulders.
  • Restricted to cliff habitats when foxes are present.
  • Feeds offshore in deep waters, not at upwellings.
  • Winters at sea, far offshore.

Food


Insects

Invertebrates and larval fish.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1 eggs
Egg Description
Smooth white, sometimes with a slight blue or green tinge.
Condition at Hatching
Chicks semiprecocial, covered with dense dark down.
Nest Description

Nests in bare rock crevices or in burrows. No nesting material is added.

Nest Placement

Burrow

Behavior


Surface Dive

Dives for prey. Uses wings for swimming underwater.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

There is little information on population trends of Parakeet Auklet. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan estimates a continental breeding population of 1 million birds, rates them at least a 6 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, and lists them as a Species of Low Concern. Parakeet Auklet is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. The species is considered sensitive because of vulnerability to introduced predators and increasing gulls on breeding grounds.

Credits

Range Map Help

Parakeet Auklet Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings
×

Search

Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
×
bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or give your email address to others.