Crested Auklet

Aethia cristatella

An abundant breeding species that can be found easily from May-August, though it is found only rarely in the fall. The earliest arrivals on the island are typically noted in mid-late April and are present in numbers by May, with peak numbers occurring in June and July. The estimated breeding population in the Pribilofs is 10,000-20,000 pairs on St. George Island, 2,500-5,000 nesting pairs on St. Paul Island, and smaller numbers in the tens or hundreds on Otter and Walrus Islands. This is the earliest nesting species to leave the islands in fall with many individuals beginning to leave by late July for the ocean and they become quite difficult to find on land by August 5th or 10th. There are no on land records after August 25th. There are very few records from September to mid-October from land in the Pribilofs and this species has proven to be the most difficult nesting alcid to locate during that period. However, this species winters abundantly in the Bering Sea often near the edge of the winter ice pack and as such may be found in very large numbers during the winter at sea in offshore and near shore waters around the islands.

Photo by Ryan P. O’Donnell
Photo by Scott Schuette
Photo by Sam Woods
Photo by Ryan P. O’Donnell