Auk Bird – Profile | Description | Facts | Traits | Behavior

auk bird

An Auk bird is a small to medium-sized seabirds with lengthy, barrel-shaped bodies, brief tails, very small wings and brief legs set far again on the body. This article is all about an Auk bird.

An Auk bird facts

An auk or alcid is a bird of the family Alcidae within the order Charadriiformes. The alcid family consists of the murres, guillemots, auklets, puffins, murrelets, and mountain penguins.

The phrase auk is derived from Icelandic álka, from Outdated Norse Alka (“auk”), from Proto-Germanic *alkǭ (“sea-bird, auk”).

Most of the auk bird can hardly stroll, however, stand upright on cliff ledges the place they arrive to breed every spring.

An auk bird flies low and quick with whirring wings and poor maneuverability, however, they’re wonderful swimmers and divers, utilizing their wings to ‘fly’ underwater. There are extra species in North America.

Aside from the extinct nice auk, all auks are notable for his or her skill to “fly” underwater in addition to within the air. Though they’re wonderful swimmers and divers, their strolling seems clumsy.

A number of auk bird species have completely different frequent names in Europe and North America.

The guillemots of Europe are known as murres in North America in the event that they happen in each continent, and the little auk is known as the dovekie.


The auk bird is superficially much like penguins having black-and-white colors, upright posture, and a few of their habits.

Nonetheless, they don’t seem to be intently associated with penguins, however quite are believed to be an instance of average convergent evolution. Auks are monomorphic (men and women are related in look).

Extant auk bird varies in dimension from the least auklet, at 85 g (three oz) and 15 cm (5.9 in), to the thick-billed murre, at 1 kg (2.2 lb) and 45 cm (18 in). As a consequence of their brief wings, auks must flap their wings in a short time so as to fly.

Though to not the extent of penguins, an auk bird has largely sacrificed flight, and likewise mobility on land, in alternate for swimming skill; their wings are a compromise between the absolute best design for diving and the naked minimal wanted for flying.

This varies by subfamily, the Uria guillemots (together with the razorbill) and murrelets being probably the most environment friendly beneath the water, whereas the puffins and auklets are higher tailored for flying and strolling.

What does an auk appear like?

Auk bird has a black again and a white stomach. The black beak was heavy and hooked, with grooves on its floor. Throughout summertime, nice auk plumage confirmed a white patch over every eye.

Feeding and ecology

The feeding behavior of auk bird is usually in comparison with that of penguins; each team is wing-propelled pursuit divers.

Within the area the place auks dwell, their sole seabird competitors are cormorants (that are dive-powered by their robust ft).

In areas they have the 2 teams feed on the identical prey, the auks are inclined to feed additional offshore.

Robust-swimming murres hunt quicker education fish, whereas auklets take slower-moving krill.

Time depth recorders on auk bird have proven that they will dive as deep as 100 m within the case of Uria guillemots, 40 m for the Cepphus guillemots, and 30 m for the auklets.

auk bird

Breeding and colonies

Auk bird is a pelagic bird, spending the vast majority of their grownup life on the open sea and going ashore just for breeding, though some species — just like the frequent guillemot — spend an ideal part of the yr defending their nesting spot from others.

Auks are monogamous and have a tendency to type lifelong pairs. They sometimes lay a single egg, and they’re philopatric (they use the nesting website yr after yr).

Some auk bird species, such because of the Uria guillemots (murres), nest in giant colonies on cliff edges; others, just like the Cepphus guillemots, breed in small teams on rocky coasts; and the puffins, auklets, and a few murrelets nest in burrows. All species besides the Brachyramphus murrelets are colonial.

Evolution and distribution

Historically, the auk bird had been believed to be one of many earliest distinct charadriiform lineages as a consequence of their attribute morphology.

Nonetheless, genetic analyses have demonstrated that these peculiarities are the product of robust pure choice as a substitute:

versus, for instance, plovers (a lot older charadriiform lineage), auks radically modified from a wading shorebird to a diving seabird way of life.

Thus, as we speak, the auks are not separated in their very own suborder (“Alcae”), however, they are thought of as a part of the Lari suborder which in any other case incorporates gulls and related birds.

Judging from genetic information, their closest residing kinfolk seems like the skuas, with these two lineages separating about 30 million years in the past (mya).

Alternatively, the auk bird could have cut up off far earlier from the remainder of the Lari and undergone robust morphological, however sluggish genetic evolution, which might require a really excessive evolutionary strain, coupled with a protracted lifespan and sluggish copy.

Why did the nice auk develop into extinct?

Round 1800, the species was beneath severe risk due to extreme searching. Nevertheless, it was primarily sailors who hunted them on their lengthy fishing journeys in these areas.

The hen was giant, meaty, and simple prey because auk bird couldn’t fly. The nice auk was additionally hunted for its feathers which had been used within the clothes trade.

How did the final nice auk die?

Condemning it as “a maelstrom-conjuring witch,” they stoned it to death. It was the final of its type to ever be seen on the British Isles.

4 years later, the great auk bird vanished from the world fully when fishermen hunted down the final pair on the shores of Eldey Island, off the coast of Iceland.

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