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Auk Reference Libraries

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Manx Shearwater
2007-10-24 13:53:09

The Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus), is a medium-sized seabird in the family of seabirds Procellariidae. Despite the scientific name, this species is completely unrelated to the puffins, which are auks, the only resemblance being that they are both burrow-nesting seabirds. The species originated from the Calf of Man, a small island just south of the Isle of Man. Its numbers declined there...

Least Auklet
2006-02-23 14:12:25

The Least Auklet (Aethia pusilla) is a seabird and the smallest species of auk. It the most abundant seabird in North America, and one of the most abundant in the world, with a population of around nine million birds. They breed on the islands of Alaska and Siberia, and spend the winter close to the edge of the ice sheet. Their largest colonies are on the Aleutian Islands, St. Lawrence Island...

Whiskered Auklet
2006-02-23 14:02:07

The Whiskered Auklet (Aethia pygmaea) is a small seabird of the auk family. It has a more restricted range than other members of its genus, Aethia, living only around the Aleutian Islands and on some islands off Siberia (like Commander Islands). It also breeds on these islands. It is one of the smallest auks, only the closely related Least Auklet being smaller. Its name is derived from the long...

Ancient Murrelet
2006-02-23 13:34:27

The Ancient Murrelet (Synthliboramphus antiquus) is a bird of the auk family. It breeds in colonies principally on the Aleutian Islands and other Alaskan islands. They female lays one or two eggs directly amongst tree roots or in rock crevices. These small auks are nocturnal on the breeding grounds, presumably to reduce predation, and for the same reason the young are never fed at the nest,...

Xantuss Murrelet
2006-02-23 13:11:24

Xantus's Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) is a small auk found in the California Current system in the Pacific Ocean. This small seabird breeds on islands off California and Mexico. The species is named for the Hungarian ornithologist John Xantus de Vesey, who described it from specimens collected off Baja California. It is threatened by predators introduced to its breeding colonies and...

Kittlitzs Murrelet
2006-02-23 12:47:58

The Kittlitz's Murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) is a small auk found in the waters off Alaska and Eastern Siberia. This critically endangered species is, like the closely related Marbled Murrelet, is not colonial. Instead it chooses to nest in isolated locations on mountain tops, where the nests were known to Native Americans for many years before skeptical ornithologists described and...

Great Auk
2006-02-23 12:15:07

At 30 inches (75 centimeters), the flightless Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) was the largest of the auks. It was hunted for food, as well as for down for mattresses, from at least the 8th century. It is classified as the only species in the genus Pinguinus. It was also known as "garefowl", from the Old Norse geirfugl, or "penguin". Before hunted to extinction, the Great Auk could be found in...

Brnnichs Guillemot
2006-02-23 11:58:32

The Brünnich's Guillemot, or Thick-billed Murre (Uria lomvia) is a bird in the auk family that breeds on coasts and islands in the high Arctic of Europe, Asia and North America. It is one of the most numerous birds in the high arctic. These birds breed in large colonies located high atop coastal cliffs. They lay a single egg directly on a cliff ledge. They migrate south in winter into the...

Common Guillemot
2006-02-23 11:35:14

The Common Guillemot, also known as the Common Murre in North America (Uria aalge) is a large auk measuring 38-46 cm in length and with a wingspan of 61-73 cm. They are black on the head, back and wings, and have white underparts. They have a thin dark pointed bill and a small rounded dark tail. The face becomes white in winter. Western European birds of the race U. a. albionis are dark...

Little Auk
2006-02-23 11:19:57

The Little Auk, or Dovekie (Alle alle) is a small auk, and the only member of the genus Alle. It breeds on islands in the high Arctic. There are two subspecies: A. a. alle which breeds in Greenland, Iceland, Novaya Zemlya and Spitzbergen, and A. a. polaris on Franz Josef Land. These birds can be found during times of breeding on coastal mountainsides, where they have huge colonies. They nest...

Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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