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Photo Crested auklet

Crested auklets recuperating after being rescued in Unalaska Island, Alaska oil spill. (Jay Holcomb/IBRRC)

Common name:

Crested auklet

Latin name:

Aethia cristatella




9-10" (23-26 cm)

Wing span:

14" (36 cm)


9.3 oz (264 g)


Nests in rock crevices; incubating bird seldom visible from outside. Egg normally laid directly on soft damp soil on floor of rock crevice, or on collections of small pebbles and detritus in a rock crack; perhaps occasionally on bare rock. Egg normally laid in a shallow depression on floor of crevice, apparently excavated by bird where possible.


A small gregarious bird, their plumage has a distinctive, pungent, citrus-like odor.  In the Americas, they breed on remote islands in the Bering Sea, Pribilof islands, and the Aleutians. Outside the Americas, they breed on central Kurile Islands. Islands in Okhotsk Sea and on Chukotski peninsula in eastern Siberia. Winters regularly as far south as north Japan (Hokkaido).


Field Guide to Birds of North America


Birds in Focus

List of species treated

powells books graphic

Source: The Sibley Guide to Birds, Knopf © 2000-2003  


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