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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Least Auklet Aethia pusilla

This tiny bird is probably the most abundant species of auk, a family that also includes murres and puffins. Short, plump, and gray-backed, with a stubby red-tipped bill, it nests in vast colonies off the Alaskan coast, some of which contain more than a million birds. Least auklets also feed together, floating on the surface in large gatherings known as “rafts.” They are pursuit divers that eat mainly zooplankton.

Least Aukletszoom image
  • Order Charadriiformes
  • Length 6 in (15 cm)
  • Weight 3 oz (85 g)
  • Habitat Inshore waters, rocky coasts, open sea
  • Distribution North Pacific, breeding mainly in the Aleutian Islands and islands in Bering Sea
Least Auklet Habitat Mapzoom image