|Conservation status||Still abundant in the North Pacific, although some island colonies may have been affected by introduced rat populations.|
|Habitat||Open ocean. Favors cold waters, foraging over continental shelf and farther out to sea, sometimes fairly close to land. Extends north into Bering Sea, and may even occur around edges of floating ice. Nests on islands, mostly hilly islands with good cover of grass or shrubs.|
Takes food from surface of water. Forages mostly by hovering and picking at surface with bill, also by dropping into water and then resuming flight, sometimes by picking at items while swimming.
One. Dull white, with fine dark dots around larger end. Incubation is by both sexes. Incubation period averages about 50 days, ranges from 37-68 days. Young: Both parents feed young. At first young is fed orange oily substance regurgitated by adults, later semi-digested fish. Young fledges about 60 days after hatching, goes out to sea.
Both parents feed young. At first young is fed orange oily substance regurgitated by adults, later semi-digested fish. Young fledges about 60 days after hatching, goes out to sea.
Includes fish, crustaceans. Feeds mostly on small fish, crustaceans, and floating natural oils. Skims oily fat (from dead or wounded animals) from surface of water. Also may feed on carrion or floating refuse.
Nests on islands, commonly in large colonies. Active around nesting sites only at night. Nest: Excavates burrow in soil or uses natural rock crevices, openings in rock piles, or old burrows of other species (such as puffins). Sometimes two or more pairs have nests in side tunnels branching off from single entrance. Nest chamber usually with little or no lining added, sometimes small amount of grass.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Not strongly migratory, with most remaining in far northern waters all year. In some winters, fair numbers move south to central California, rarely farther.
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Songs and CallsTwittering and squeaking notes given near nest.
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