[order] Charadriiformes | [family] Alcidae | [latin] Cyclorrhynchus psittacula | [UK] Parakeet Auklet | [FR] Starique perroquet | [DE] Rotschnabelalk | [ES] Mérgulo Lorito | [IT] Alca minore pappagallo | [NL] Papegaaialk

Papegaaialk determination

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The Parakeet Auklet is a small seabird with a short thick orange bill that is slightly upturned. It is dark colored above and white below, with a white plume behind the yellow eye. In summer its eye plume may disappear. Males and female look similar.

Parakeet Auklets are found nesting in crevices on talus slopes, cliffs and grassy slopes.

Parakeet Auklets are widely distributed from Southeast Alaska, across the Gulf of Alaska, in most of the Bering Sea, and in the Sea of Okhotsk in Siberia. They are locally distributed in Southeast Alaska (small numbers south to St. Lazaria, Hazy and Forrester islands) and on the Kenai Peninsula. In the Gulf of Alaska, they are found on the Shumagin and Semidi islands and on Chirikof Island near Kodiak. Areas of concentrations are the Aleutian Islands west to Buldir and Agattu, and in the Bering Sea (Little Diomede, St. Lawrence, King, St. Matthew, Pribilof, and Nunivak islands).

The Parakeet Auklet feeds on small crustaceans such as euphausiids, copepods and amphipods. It sometimes feeds on jellyfish or small fish. Can dive up to 30m in search of prey.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 100,000-1,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 800,000 individuals (M. Crosby in litt. 2003). Global population trends have not been quantified; there is evidence of a population decline (del Hoyo et al. 1996), but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

breeds on the cliffs, slopes and boulder fields of offshore islands. Needs plenty of rock crevices for nesting colony. Only comes ashore to breed. Breeds in April and May in colonies. Often nests in mixed colonies with other Auk species. Female lays a single egg which hatches after about a month.

Migratory movements poorly known. dispersal from late Aug to early Oct. Some birds over winter in open waters near breeding locations (Pribilofs, Aleutians), but most birds probably move considerable distances S to winter offshore in oceanic waters N Pacific, S as far as Japan (Hokkaido, and irregularly to Honshu) and casually to S California. No winter sightings from the Gulf of Alaska, few from SE Alaska and British Columbia, and regular records from Washington to California; similar exodus from E Bering Sea, Kamchatka and Sea of Okhotsk S and offshore of Kurils to Japan. Most birds return to colonies Apr-May, late May and early Jun at northernmost sits: arrives Commander Is and Aleutians late Apr, St Lawrence I by mid-May, and Bering Strait (N Chukotskiy, Diomede Is, Seward Peninsula) late May to early Jun. Migratory movements and patterns complex, requiring further study; apparently influenced by fluctuations in surface temperatures and salinities.