Fun Whiskered Auklet Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Whiskered Auklet Facts For Kids

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There are a total of six species of auklet sea birds and the whiskered auklet is one species in the family. This bird is known by its scientific name Aethia pygmaea. The whiskered auklet (Aethia pygmaea) can be seen in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. The auklet species are well-known birds of North America. The whiskered auklet (Aethia pygmaea) is seen near ocean coasts, rocky coasts, and shallow waters.

The whiskered auklet (Aethia pygmaea) is primarily a carnivorous animal and feeds on krill, shrimp, and larval fishes. These auklets are classified as a Least Concern species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN). Major threats they face apart from predators include habitat loss and human encroachment. Males and females are similar in appearance and breed on breeding islands within their range. They are similar to the crested auklet and may often be confused with this other bird, however, they are separate species. These seabirds are seldom spotted near human settlements and stay within their range year-round.

For more relatable content, check out these fact files on royal penguin and rhinoceros auklet.

Fun Whiskered Auklet Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Krill, shrimp, and larval fishes

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

1 egg

How much do they weigh?

0.3 lb (120 g)

How long are they?

6.5 in (16.5 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark slate gray

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Habitat Loss

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Oceans, Rocky Coasts, And Shallow Waters


Alaska In North America









Whiskered Auklet Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a whiskered auklet?

The whiskered auklet is a type of seabird that belongs to the kingdom Animalia and order Charadriiformes.

What class of animal does a whiskered auklet belong to?

The whiskered auklet is a type of bird that belongs to class Aves, family Alcidae, and genus Aethia.  

How many whiskered auklets are there in the world?

The exact population of whiskered auklets is not known. They are primarily found within their range and are classified as a Least Concern species by the IUCN.

Where does a whiskered auklet live?

A whiskered auklet lives in colonies near oceans, rocky coasts, and shallow waters. A whiskered auklet lives around the Aleutian Islands in Alaska and other regions in North America.

What is a whiskered auklet's habitat?

The whiskered auklet habitat range constitutes oceans, rocky coasts, and shallow waters. They favor rough waters where currents converge or tidal currents race across shallows and islands. They build nests on rocks or cliffs.

Who do whiskered auklets live with?

The whiskered auklet lives with other species of their own kind in colonies and are seldom seen as solitary beings. They can be spotted breeding in their colonies too.

How long does a whiskered auklet live?

The whiskered auklet lives an average lifespan of 15 years in the wild. The oldest auklet in the world was a Cassin's auklet that was 16 years and two months old, found in California in 1993.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season occurs in May and August and a female bird lays eggs by May to June. They are known to breed in colonies. They may nest with other auklet species. Breeding males and females reproduce sexually and they build a small nest on the ground, usually with an opening. Females lay a single white egg post-mating in their nest and the nest is protected at all times.  The incubation period lasts 35-36 days during nesting and fledging occurs 35 -46 days post-hatching. They may mate multiple times throughout their lifetime. Nesting sites may or may not be reused.

What is their conservation status?

The whiskered auklet is classified as a Least Concern species according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Whiskered Auklet Fun Facts

What do whiskered auklets look like?

Whiskered auklets have an overall black plumage with a pale gray to white belly. They have a unique pattern on their head with white eyes. They have a recurved crest on the forehead that drops forward over the bill. They have three thin white tufts of facial plumes contrasting with their blackish head. They have a stout red with a pale tip. Their legs and webbed feet are gray to pale blue. Males and females have an overall similar appearance. Juveniles resemble adults, however, they develop their features gradually. These birds are primarily distinguished from other auklets by their whiskers. Their wingspan is 14.6 in (37 cm). The whiskers are an important sensory organ that helps them sense direction as well.

A whiskered auklet lives around the Aleutian Islands in Alaska

*We've been unable to source an image of a Whiskered Auklet and have used an image of its habitat. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Whiskered Auklet, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How cute are they?

Whiskered auklets are a cute and adorable species of bird. These North American auklets are not really sociable beings and stay away from human settlements. If you wish to see this species, you need to visit designated spots.

How do they communicate?

These North American auklets communicate using many different ways. The whiskered auklet produces a series of descending notes followed by 'kirree' note and a series of musical notes, which progressively become longer. They have different calls during different times of the day. Prior to dawn, these bird utter a long, graded trill starting with descending notes. Contact calls include a 'kik', 'mew','kreew' or other such nasal notes uttered by single birds or multiple birds in chorus.

How big is a whiskered auklet?

The whiskered auklet bird is 6.5 in (16.5 cm) and is three times bigger than the smallest auklet, which is the least auklet, measuring 6.3 in (16 cm).

How fast can a whiskered auklet fly?

A whiskered auklet can be found diving and flying underwater near the Aleutian islands or around North America. They are propelled by flapping wings and their strong webbed feet. They move at moderate speeds and forage for food at night to stay away from predators.

How much does a whiskered auklet weigh?

The whiskered auklet size is 0.3 lb (120 g). They primarily feed on marine worms, small crustaceans, shrimp, and other carnivorous matter.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female auklets are not addressed differently. They are similar in appearance and coloration and differ only in reproductive functions.

What would you call a baby whiskered auklet?

A baby whisker auklet could be referred to as a nestling or a juvenile. The young are looked after by their parents and are fed a similar diet as their parents. They are protected until they are independent. Until then, adults stay near their breeding islands.

What do they eat?

Whiskered auklet birds, similar to the crested auklet, are carnivorous and feed on marine worms and small crustaceans including lobster, krill, shrimp, and larval fishes. They feed on marine worms and small crustaceans all year. They look for food within their habitat range in North America, mostly at night. They search for food at night to stay away from possible predators.

Are they dangerous?

No, auklet birds are not dangerous. They are seldom seen near human settlements and their nesting, breeding, and living occurs in colonies. These birds are most active at night to avoid any form of danger from possible predators. Predators of this bird include foxes and other carnivorous animals.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these birds are innately wild birds and survive best in their natural habitat near ocean coasts and islands. If you visit a region endemic to this bird species, you can use a field guide that could help you to spot this bird. The bird is seen in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska and in North America.

Did you know...

The Galapagos Islands have the most bird species ever. Over 1660 species of birds have been registered in the islands. Birds are attracted to islands primarily because they have a suitable climate and enough foraging ground. The islands in Ecuador alone have more bird species than Europe and North America combined.

There is a place called bird islands located in the United States. The island's primary name is inspired by a bird sanctuary.  

What are the different types of auklet?

There are a total of six different types of auklets in the world. These include the Cassin's auklet, least auklet, crested auklet, parakeet auklet, rhinoceros auklet, and the whiskered auklet. These are small-sized birds who live near ocean coasts and on islands. All auklets are seen nesting in burrows. They are often confused with puffins which are a similar species. Nesting occurs in burrows to protect the young birds from possible predators. They search for food a night because at night, they can stay away from possible predators. These birds may differ in size, coloration, pattern, and appearance. These birds also are native to different regions of the world.

Do they migrate?

Yes, most auklets are migratory in nature, however, the whiskered auklet is considered to be a sedentary species living in the same regions for most parts. They search for appropriate breeding grounds and islands for finding appropriate nesting sites. They live in loose colonies.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Hawaiian hawk facts and saker falcon facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable whiskered auklet coloring pages.

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