The Parakeet Auklet was first identified to science by Simon Peter Pallas (22 September 1741 to 8 September 1811) a zoologist and botanist who worked in Russia. He received his doctorate degree at the age of nineteen the Netherlands at the University of Leiden. He was a voluminous writer, and there are numerous biological species, streets, and an asteroid named after him.
|Parakeet Auklet (Cyclorrhynchus psittacula) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Like all birds, the Parakeet Auklet belongs to Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata (animals having backbones), and Class Aves. It belongs to the Order Charadriiformes, the family Alcidae, the Genus Aethia, and the species psittacula. Its scientific name, therefore is Aethia psittacula. It has also been identified as Cyclorrhynchus psittacula and Phaleris psittacula.
The bird has a black head and black upper parts. Its breast, extending to its shoulders, and its belly are white. Its eye is white. There is a distinct white plume that begins at the back edge of the eye and protrudes backwards, the length of the head. The short bill is orange and upturned, so that the Parakeet Auklet has peculiar fixed expression.
The Parakeet Auklet makes a series of rhythmic hoarse calls and a quavering squeal. It is very vocal at its nesting site. It calls on its own and sings a duet with its mate. It lives in the boreal waters of Alaska, Kamchatka, and Siberia. It finds its food in the ocean, diving as much as 30 meters to catch its prey, which include jellyfish and small planktonic crustaceans such as euphausiids, copepods, and amphipods. It makes its nest on the rocky cliffs of islands.