What do crested Auklets smell like?

Answered by Cody Janus

Crested auklets, those magnificent birds found on Alaska’s rugged Shumagin Islands, have a distinct and intriguing smell. The scent they emit can be best described as a combination of fresh lemons and tangerines. It is a tantalizing aroma that hangs heavy in the air, even though no fruit trees dare to take root in this harsh environment.

It is fascinating to think about how these birds, which are not typically associated with citrus fruits, can produce such a vibrant and enticing scent. The secret lies in their large head feathers, which play a vital role in creating this aromatic experience.

The male crested auklets, in particular, possess these prominent head feathers that are responsible for their attractive appearance and unique scent. These feathers are not only visually striking but also contain specialized glands that produce the tangerine-like odor.

Imagine observing a male crested auklet in its natural habitat, its head adorned with these magnificent feathers. As it moves and interacts with its fellow auklets, a subtle yet distinct citrusy fragrance wafts through the air, adding an additional layer of intrigue to this already captivating bird.

It is important to note that not all crested auklets emit this tangerine smell equally. The sexiest males, those that possess the most attractive and well-developed head feathers, tend to have a stronger scent. This scent serves as a signal to potential mates, indicating their genetic fitness and desirability as a partner.

As with many aspects of nature, the purpose of the tangerine scent in crested auklets is tied to reproductive success. Female auklets are known to be attracted to males with larger, more colorful head feathers and a stronger smell. This odor acts as a form of communication, allowing the males to advertise their genetic quality and potentially secure a mate.

Crested auklets have a captivating and distinctive scent that resembles a blend of fresh lemons and tangerines. This aroma is primarily emitted by the male birds, specifically those with larger and more vibrant head feathers. The tangerine smell serves as a signal of genetic fitness and attractiveness to potential mates, adding an extra element of allure to these already fascinating creatures.