Parakeet auklet

Parakeet auklet
Parakeetauklets2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Alcidae
Genus:Aethia
Species:A. psittacula
Binomial name
Aethia psittacula
(Pallas, 1769)
Aethia psittacula map.svg
Synonyms

Cyclorrhynchus psittacula[2]
Phaleris psittacula

The parakeet auklet (Aethia psittacula) is a small seabird of the North Pacific. Parakeet Auklets used to be placed on its own in the genus Cyclorrhynchus (Kaup, 1829) but recent morphological and genetic evidence suggest it should be placed in the genus Aethia, making them closely related to crested auklets and least auklets. It is associated with the boreal waters of Alaska, Kamchatka and Siberia. It breeds on the cliffs, slopes and boulder fields of offshore islands, generally moving south during the winter.

Description

The parakeet auklet is a small (23 cm) auk with a short orange bill that is upturned to give the bird its curious fixed expression. The bird's plumage is dark above and white below. with a single white plume projecting back from the eye. There is a small amount of variation between breeding and winter plumage.

The parakeet auklet is a highly vocal species at the nest, calling once it arrives at the nest and then duetting once its mate arrives. It makes a series of rhythmic hoarse calls (like that of the Cassin's auklet) and a quavering squeal. The function of these are unknown, but could be associated with defending its burrow from intruders and strengthening the bond with its mate.

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