Alcidae – Auks

Tufted Puffin by Dave's BirdingPix

Tufted Puffin by Dave’s BirdingPix

… Firm is your dwelling place, And your nest is set in the rock; (Numbers 24:21 NKJV)

CLASS – AVES, Order – CHARADRIIFORMES, Family – Alcidae – Auks


Latest I.O.C. Version
Species (25)

Little Auk (Alle alle)
Thick-billed Murre (Uria lomvia)
Common Murre (Uria aalge)
Razorbill (Alca torda)
Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis)
Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle)
Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba)
Spectacled Guillemot (Cepphus carbo)
Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus)
Long-billed Murrelet (Brachyramphus perdix)
Kittlitz’s Murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris)
Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus)
Scripps’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi)
Craveri’s Murrelet (Synthliboramphus craveri)
Ancient Murrelet (Synthliboramphus antiquus)
Japanese Murrelet (Synthliboramphus wumizusume)
Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus)
Parakeet Auklet (Aethia psittacula)
Least Auklet (Aethia pusilla)
Whiskered Auklet (Aethia pygmaea)
Crested Auklet (Aethia cristatella)
Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata)
Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica)
Horned Puffin (Fratercula corniculata)
Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)


On the photos or slides, a “by” indicates one of the photographers or videographers, who have given their permission, with links on our sidebar. Please visit their sight to see many more fantastic shots, a “©©” copyright symbol indicates a photo from Creative Commons and ©WikiC is a Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia.

Photographers or Videographers used on this page from our sidebar, Photography, are:
Bob & Nan’s Gallery
Dave’s BirdingPix
Ian Montgomery’s Birdway

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An auk is a bird of the family Alcidae in the order Charadriiformes. Extant auks range in size from the Least Auklet, at 3 oz (85 g) and 6 in (15 cm), to the Thick-billed Murre, at 2¼ lb (1 kg) and 18 in (45 cm). They are good swimmers and divers, but their walking appears clumsy. Modern auks can fly (except for the recently extinct Great Auk). Due to their short wings, auks have to flap their wings very quickly in order to fly.

Auks are superficially similar to penguins having black-and-white colours, upright posture and some of their habits. Nevertheless they are not closely related to penguins.

Auks live on the open sea and only go ashore for breeding, although some species, like the Common Guillemot, spend a great part of the year defending their nesting spot from others.

Several species have different names in Europe and North America. The guillemots of Europe are murres in North America, if they occur in both continents, and the Little Auk becomes the Dovekie.

Some species, such as the Uria guillemots, nest in large colonies on cliff edges; others, like the Cepphus guillemots, breed in small groups on rocky coasts; and the puffins, auklets and some murrelets nest in burrows. All species except the Brachyramphus murrelets are colonial. (Wikipedia with editing)


Here an interesting video from National Geographic about Pufflings.

Some of the Family – Photos are Alphabetical down the columns:

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