Least Auklet – Accepted

1. 15 Jun 1981


Thornton Beach State Park SM



Figs. 180, 181, ph., MVZ 168469, Bailey (1989a)








Figure 180, 181 (above, below). California’s only Least Auklet, a weakened year-old bird picked up on 15 June 1981 at Thorton State Beach in San Mateo County, died in captivity and was preserved as a specimen (1981-073; Stephen F. Bailey).








Least Auklet

LEAST AUKLET Aethia pusilla (Pallas, 1811)

Accepted: 1 (100%)

Treated in Appendix H: no

Not accepted: 0

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 0

Color image: none

This diminutive seabird breeds in western Alaska, from the Aleutian Islands north to the Diomede Islands, and across the Bering Sea to eastern Siberia, including the Commander and Kuril Islands. Wintering birds are found primarily in the northern Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea from Kodiak Island west to waters off Kamchatka and northern Japan. The species wanders casually to northern Alaska and has reached the northern Northwest Territories.

A weakened Least Auklet in first alternate plumage picked up on 15 June 1981 at Thornton State Beach in San Mateo County later died at a rehabilitation center (Bailey 1989a; Figures 180, 181). California’s four most unusual alcid records—two of the Crested Auklet, one of Kittlitz’s Murrelet, and this one—all fall between 15 June and 16 August.