Rhinoceros Auklet photographed on a recent trip. Taken between Vitskari Rocks and Low Island.
Rhinoceros Auklets seem to be one of the more frequently encountered water birds on Sitka Sound. I don’t think they’re necessarily more abundant population-wise, but more that their feeding habits keep them around locations boats tend to travel (or at least the ones I’ve been on). There is some on-going research on the auklets nesting at St. Lazaria, I think primarily looking at their diets and foraging strategies. I would like to speak with the researcher to learn more, but as of yet, have not had the opportunity to do so.
- How many Rhinoceros Auklets are nesting on St. Lazaria?
- Are most/all the birds seen on the water St. Lazaria nests?
- How do they figure out where food is?
- Are they able to communicate with each other about food locations?
- Is it possible to distinguish male from female without having the bird in hand?
- Does the horn shed in one piece, or basically just fall apart?