- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Alcidae
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
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.
- Mérgulo Lorito (Spanish)
- Starique perroquet (French)
- Cool Facts
- Parakeet Auklets are one of a dozen species of alcid (family Alcidae) that nest along shorelines in Alaska. Unlike many alcids, they do not form large flocks, usually foraging or flying singly or in pairs and only occasionally gather into small groups where food is abundant.
- The Parakeet Auklet's oddly shaped bill is almost circular in outline, a feature reflected in their genus name Cyclorrhynchus ("circular bill").
- Parakeet Auklets have large feet which help them steer and stabilize when foraging underwater, and may help them excavate burrows. Parakeet Auklets sometimes take over burrows of Cassin's Auklets, Tufted Puffins, and Ancient Murrelets, but in turn, their own burrows are sometimes commandeered by Horned Puffins.