Cassin’s Auklet

Basic Description

Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) is a small seabird that belongs to the family Alcidae. This bird is named after American ornithologist John Cassin, who discovered this species in 1850. It has a stocky build and measures around 8-9 inches in length, with an average wingspan of approximately 13 inches. Its plumage is a mix of gray and white, with black markings on its head, eyes, and bill.

Where To Find This Bird

The Cassin’s Auklet is predominantly found along the western coast of North America from Alaska to California. It breeds primarily on rocky or sandy areas within colonies located on islands off the coast or mainland cliffs.


This particular bird thrives in marine environments such as open oceans where it spends most of its life at sea searching for food or flying low over water surfaces. During breeding season these birds prefer nesting sites that are inaccessible to predators such as steep sea cliffs or small islands.


The main diet for Cassin’s Auklets consists mainly of planktonic crustaceans like copepods and krill which they capture by diving underwater up to depths of around 200 feet using their wings instead of their feet like other seabirds do.

Cool Facts

Cassin’s Auklets have some interesting habits worth noting; one is that they give off a distinct musty odor when handled due to secretions from their preen gland which helps waterproof feathers during dives into deep seawater habitats.
Another unique adaptation seen among these birds involves how they care for young chicks – both male and female parents share equal responsibility for incubating eggs during breeding season by taking turns sitting on them daily. They also exhibit a particular behavior known as “creching,” where juveniles congregate in large groups outside the breeding season, providing protection against predators and socializing before they leave to live independently at sea.

In conclusion, Cassin’s Auklet is an intriguing bird with interesting behavioral patterns and adaptations that enable it to survive in its unique marine-based ecosystem successfully. Although not widely popular compared to other seabird species, this small creature plays an essential role within its habitat and deserves more attention from conservationists and researchers alike.