Tuesday, January 5, 2016 Update on Whiskered/Crested Auklet ID

Seward, Alaska

I updated the labels on my January 1, 2016 Whiskered Auklet photos to Crested Auklet after review by experts including Martin Renner in Homer, and Thede Tobish in Anchorage.

Martin noted: the cristatella grin or “smiling line” at the gape, from the bill towards the eye, is diagnostic for Crested Auklet. The crest is thin and flimsy in a Whiskered Auklet and the plumes start in front of the eye. In the field, the Whiskered is only a third the size of a Crested.

Thede noted that the Whiskered Auklet rarely moves between favored tiderip passes west of Unimak Pass in the Aleutians, and there are no Seward or North Gulf records.

It was a huge storm, so anything is possible, but not apparently, a Whiskered Auklet. Yet.

Many thanks to Martin, Thede, and Dave S. for your interest in these photos, and for your expertise!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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