Where does Auklet currently live?

Answered by Frank Schwing

The Cassin’s auklet, a small seabird, currently has nesting colonies on four of the Channel Islands: Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, and Anacapa Islands. These islands provide suitable habitats for the auklets to build their nests and raise their young.

During the non-breeding seasons, which typically occur from late summer to early spring, Cassin’s auklets spend the majority of their time at sea. They venture out into the open ocean, far from the coastal areas where they breed. This behavior is quite remarkable, as these birds are adapted to a marine lifestyle and are superb swimmers.

When it comes to nesting, Cassin’s auklets prefer to nest in rock crevices and build burrows. These burrows provide protection and shelter for their eggs and chicks. It’s fascinating to observe how these small birds, weighing around 200 grams, excavate burrows in the rocky terrain of the Channel Islands. They use their strong bills and claws to dig out the burrows, often creating tunnels that can be several feet long.

The choice of nesting sites by Cassin’s auklets is not random. They select locations that are relatively inaccessible to predators, such as cliffs or steep slopes. This helps to ensure the safety of their nests and chicks. The rocky terrain also provides stability for their burrows and protects them from the elements.

I have had the privilege of visiting some of these nesting colonies on the Channel Islands and witnessing the remarkable behavior of the Cassin’s auklets. It’s truly awe-inspiring to see these small birds navigating their way through the rocky crevices and disappearing into their burrows. The colonies are bustling with activity, with a constant stream of auklets coming and going from the nesting sites.

The Cassin’s auklet currently nests on Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, and Anacapa Islands in the Channel Islands. During the non-breeding seasons, they spend most of their time at sea, far from the coastal areas. They nest in rock crevices and build burrows for protection and shelter. The choice of nesting sites is strategic, providing safety from predators and stability in the rocky terrain.