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Parakeet Auklet

Silhouette AuksAuks
Parakeet AukletAethia psittacula
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Alcidae

Basic Description

A small, chunky seabird with a thick orange bill, the Parakeet Auklet breeds on islands of the North Pacific and spends the rest of the year on the open ocean. Its pale eyes, wispy white head plumes, and smile-shaped bill give it a clownlike expression, and its animated breeding displays and braying calls add to the comical effect. Like other members of the auk family, Parakeet Auklets forage at sea, sometimes in small flocks, diving and swimming in pursuit of prey such as jellies and small crustaceans.

More ID Info
image of range map for Parakeet Auklet
Year-roundBreedingMigrationNonbreeding
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Finding a Parakeet Auklet normally requires a trip to breeding areas in Alaska’s Bering Sea or Aleutian Islands. On a visit to places like St. Paul or St. Lawrence Islands, you'll find vast numbers of Least and Crested Auklets; Parakeet Auklets will be less numerous but still common enough that a short search with a spotting scope should turn one up not far offshore. Be on the lookout for single birds, as Parakeet Auklets don’t tend to form large flocks.

Other Names

  • Mérgulo Lorito (Spanish)
  • Starique perroquet (French)
  • Cool Facts

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