Crested Auklets

Crested Auklet for Banding

The Crested Auklets (Aethia cristatella) are small seabird that nest in huge colonies (>1 million individuals) in the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk in the western Pacific Ocean.

They often breed in mixed-species colonies with Least Auklets.



The Crested Auklet has a distinctive 'crest', a group of bristle feathers located above the eyes on the top of its head. There are white plumes from their eyes to the ears.

These birds measure about 18 - 27 cm (7.1 - 11 in) in length and weigh between 195 - 330 g (6.9 - 12 inches).

The plumage is mostly dark sooty grey.

The legs and feet are grey, and the claws black. The bill is reddish-orange and yellow tipped. The eyes (irises) are yellowish white.

Females have slightly smaller and less curved bills, and slightly smaller crests.


Diet / Feeding

Crested Auklets mostly feed on krill, but they are also known to eat copepods, pteropods (such as Limacina), amphipods and larval fishes.

Crested Auklet (Aethia cristatella) Crested Auklet (Aethia cristatella)


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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