Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Charadriiformes > Alcidae > Ptychoramphus > Ptychoramphus aleuticus

Ptychoramphus aleuticus (Cassin's Auklet)

Synonyms: Ptychoramphus aleutica
Language: Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

Cassin’s auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) is a small, chunky seabird that ranges widely in the North Pacific. It nests in small burrows and because of its presence on well studied islands in British Columbia and off California it is one of the better known auks. It is named for John Cassin, a Pennsylvania businessman and naturalist.Cassin's auklet is a small (25 cm, 200 g) nondescript auk. Its plumage is generally dark above and pale below, with a small white mark above the eye.
View Wikipedia Record: Ptychoramphus aleuticus


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 8.25275
EDGE Score: 2.22492


Adult Weight [1]  177 grams
Birth Weight [3]  18 grams
Female Maturity [1]  3 years
Male Maturity [6]  2 years
Breeding Habitat [2]  Coastal cliffs and islands, Coastal marine
Wintering Geography [2]  Pacific Coast
Wintering Habitat [2]  Coastal marine
Diet [4]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Fish [4]  30 %
Diet - Invertibrates [4]  70 %
Forages - Underwater [4]  100 %
Clutch Size [1]  1
Global Population (2017 est.) [2]  3,600,000
Incubation [1]  39 days
Maximum Longevity [1]  20 years
Migration [5]  Intracontinental
Wing Span [7]  17 inches (.441 m)


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Baja California desert Mexico Nearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
California coastal sage and chaparral Mexico, United States Nearctic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Aleutian Islands Biosphere Reserve 2720489 Alaska, United States    
California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve 153447 California, United States  
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary   California, United States
Channel Islands National Park II 139010 California, United States
Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve 864738 British Columbia, Canada  
Elkhorn Slough Preserve Nature Conservancy - Preserve Ia 964 California, United States  
Farallon National Wildlife Refuge IV 352 California, United States
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Ib 591068 Alaska, United States
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve II 366714 British Columbia, Canada
Olympic Biosphere Reserve II 922805 Washington, United States
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve II 137900 British Columbia, Canada
Point Reyes National Seashore II 27068 California, United States
Redwood National Park II 77867 California, United States
Santa Cruz Island Preserve Nature Conservancy - Preserve 46021 California, United States
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area V 38440 California, United States

Important Bird Areas

BirdLife Species Factsheet: View Factsheet
Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Anthony Island Canada A4ii, A4iii  
Chagulak Island USA A4ii    
Englefield Bay Islands Canada A4ii, A4iii
Frederick Island Canada A4ii, A4iii
Hippa Island Canada A4ii, A4iii
Kerouard and St. James Islands Canada A4ii, A4iii  
Moore and Byers Islands and Banks Canada A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Ramsay and Northern Juan Perez Sound Islands Canada A4ii, A4iii  
Rankine and Langtry Islands Canada A4ii, A4iii  
Scott Island Group Canada A4ii, A4iii    
Skincuttle Inlet Islands Canada A4ii, A4iii  
Solander Island and Brooks Bay Canada A4ii, A4iii

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
California Floristic Province Mexico, United States No

Prey / Diet

Ammodytes americanus (inshore sand lance)[8]
Ammodytes hexapterus (Stout sand lance)[8]
Ammodytes marinus (sand eel)[8]
Citharichthys sordidus (Sanddab)[9]
Doryteuthis opalescens (california market squid)[9]
Euphausia pacifica (Pacific krill)[10]
Kondakovia longimana (Giant Warty Squid)[8]
Limacina helicina (helicid pteropod)[8]
Merluccius productus (Whiting)[8]
Nematoscelis difficilis[9]
Neocalanus cristatus[8]
Neocalanus plumchrus[8]
Nyctiphanes simplex[9]
Ophiodon elongatus (Lingcod)[8]
Pandalopsis dispar (sidestriped shrimp)[9]
Pandalus platyceros (spot shrimp)[9]
Pasiphaea pacifica (Pacific glass shrimp)[9]
Reinhardtius hippoglossoides (Turbot)[8]
Scorpaenichthys marmoratus (Sculpin)[9]
Thysanoessa gregaria[9]
Thysanoessa inspinata[9]
Thysanoessa longipes[8]
Thysanoessa raschii (Arctic krill)[8]
Thysanoessa spinifera[10]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Minke Whale)1
Balaenoptera musculus (Blue Whale)2
Bathyraja interrupta (Sandpaper skate)2
Bathyraja trachura (Roughtail skate)1
Brachyramphus marmoratus (Marbled Murrelet)1
Citharichthys sordidus (Sanddab)1
Cololabis saira (Skipper)1
Diaphus theta (California headlightfish)2
Eschrichtius robustus (Gray Whale)1
Fulmarus glacialis (Northern Fulmar)1
Lampanyctus jordani (Brokenline lanternfish)1
Lyopsetta exilis (Slender sole)1
Megaptera novaeangliae (Humpback Whale)2
Puffinus tenuirostris (Short-tailed Shearwater)2
Rissa tridactyla (Black-legged Kittiwake)1
Sardinops sagax (Australian pilchard)2
Sebastes alutus (Snapper)2
Sebastes caurinus (Copper rockfish)1
Sebastes crameri (Rockfish)1
Sebastes diploproa (Splitnose rockfish)2
Sebastes flavidus (Yellowtail rockfish)2
Sebastes maliger (Rockfish)1
Sebastes pinniger (Rockfish)2
Sebastes serranoides (Rockfish)2
Sigmops gracilis (Slender fangjaw)1
Stenobrachius leucopsarus (Smallfin lanternfish)1
Synthliboramphus antiquus (Ancient Murrelet)2
Tarletonbeania crenularis (Blue lanternfish)1


Bubo scandiacus (Snowy Owl)[8]
Eumetopias jubatus (Steller Sea Lion)[8]
Falco peregrinus (Peregrine Falcon)[8]
Homo sapiens (man)[8]
Larus glaucescens (Glaucous-winged Gull)[8]


Parasitized by 
Actenopsylla suavis[11]

Range Map

North America;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Comparative Reproductive Ecology of the Auks (Family Alcidae) with Emphasis on the Marbled Murrelet, Toni L. De Santo, S. Kim Nelson, USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-152. 1995. pp. 33-47
2Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
3del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
4Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
5Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
6de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
7Anatomy and Histochemistry of Flight Muscles in a Wing-Propelled Diving Bird, the Atlantic Puffin, Fratercula arctica, Christopher E. Kovacs and Ron A. Meyers, JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY 244:109–125 (2000)
8Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
9Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Ecological Informatics 29(1): 45-56. Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Data from: Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Dryad Digital Repository.
10Ocean climate, euphausiids and auklet nesting: inter-annual trends and variation in phenology, diet and growth of a planktivorous seabird, Ptychoramphus aleuticus, Christine L. Abraham, William J. Sydeman, MARINE ECOLOGY PROGRESS SERIES, Vol. 274: 235–250, 2004
11International Flea Database
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access