Crested Auklets Winter in the Bering Sea

Photograph by Robert Royse

Crested Auklets Winter in the Bering Sea

The auklets present a superb natural spectacle of sight, sound, and smell.

Brought to you by BirdNote®
Published: 12/14/2012

This story comes to you through a partnership between Audubon and BirdNote, a show that airs daily on public radio stations nationwide.

The Bering Sea in winter is a realm to which most people - aside from some very hardy fishermen - give a wide berth. Winter in this northern sea framed by Alaska and Siberia is frigid, stormy, and dark. But remarkably, some birds seem right at home here.

The crested auklet is one such bird. 

A petite cousin of puffins, the crested auklet stands 10 inches high, weighs nine ounces, and is feathered in charcoal gray. This little seabird takes its name from a comical crest curling out over the top of its large, orange bill. If that's not whimsical enough, crested auklets bark like chihuahuas. And to top that off, the seabirds exude an odor of oranges from a chemical they produce that repels bothersome ticks.

Crested auklets nest in immense colonies on Bering Sea islands, and remain nearby through winter, in flocks of many thousands. Because the auklets concentrate in huge numbers, they're at risk from oil spills. 

The auklets present a superb natural spectacle. Picture a flock of tens of thousands of crested auklets flying low across the wave tops, yipping like an army of chihuahuas... while trailing a perfume of fresh citrus.

Today's show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation. For BirdNote, I'm Mary McCann. 

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Calls of Crested Auklets [132013] recorded by S.Seneviratne. 
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
(c) 2012 Tune In to Nature.org   December 2012  Narrator: Mary McCann

Magazine Category

Author Profile

BirdNote

BirdNote strives to transport listeners out of the daily grind and into the natural world with outstanding audio programming and online content. The stories we tell are rich in sound, imagery, and information - connecting the ways and needs of birds to the lives of listeners.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine

Comments

Those tablet PCs are very

Those tablet PCs are very popular now a days, but I don’t really think it’s a need, it just for convenience.

Those tablet PCs are very

Those tablet PCs are very popular now a days, but I don’t really think it’s a need, it just for convenience.

And to top that off, the

And to top that off, the seabirds exude an odor of oranges from a chemical they produce that repels bothersome ticks.

Great post! I'm just starting

Great post! I'm just starting out in community management/marketing media and trying to learn how to do it well

I am certainly thankful to

I am certainly thankful to you for providing us with this invaluable info. My spouse and I are truthfully grateful, precisely the computer data we needed.

very inportant topic , we are

very inportant topic , we are waiting for your news a more topics , thank you

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.