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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Least Auklet (Aethia pusilla)




Least Auklet | Aethia pusilla photo
Least Auklet, Zapadni Breakwater, St. Paul Island, Alaska

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Least Auklet | Aethia pusilla photo
Least Auklet, Zapadni Breakwater, St. Paul Island, Alaska

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

LEAST AUKLET FACTS

Description
The Least Auklet is the smallest species of auk. It is black above with a white throat and black and white mottled belly. It has a white line behind the eye and white streaks on the forehead. It has a thick, short dark red bill with pale tip. The eye is pale yellow. Males and females are similar. Juveniles are similar to adults. It the most abundant seabird in North America.

Size
13cm

Environment
rocky slopes, cliffs, boulder fields. Needs plenty of rock crevices for nesting colony. Only comes ashore to breed.

Food
Least Auklets feed on copepods (small crustaceans). They also eat other zooplankton, such as euphausiids and pteropods. They pursue their prey underwater swimming under water.

Breeding
Least Auklets nest in rocky crevices in colonies of up to a million birds. They often nest in mixed colonies with other Auklet species. They lay a single egg in a rock crevice. The gee hatches after a month. Both parents incubate the egg and feed the chick plankton after it hatches.

Range
Least Auklets breed on the islands of Alaska and Siberia with largest colonies on the Aleutian Islands, St. Lawrence Island and Little Diomede Island.

Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Alcidae
Genus:Aethia
Species:pusilla
Common Name:Least Auklet


Relatives in same Genus
  Crested Auklet (A. cristatella)
  Parakeet Auklet (A. psittacula)