Little Auks
Alle alle

f3.2 @ 1/2500s, ISO:1000, Nikon D3S w 300mm

"Little Auk," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.The little auk, or dovekie is a small auk, the only member of the genus Alle. It breeds on islands in the high Arctic. There are two subspecies: A. a. alle breeds in Greenland, Iceland, Novaya Zemlya and Spitsbergen, and A. a. polaris on Franz Josef Land.This is the only Atlantic auk of its size, half the size of the Atlantic puffin at 1921 cm in length, with a 3438 cm wingspan. Adult birds are black on the head, neck, back and wings, with white underparts. The bill is very short and stubby. They have a small rounded black tail. The lower face and fore neck become white in winter. The flight is direct, with fast whirring wing beats due to the short wings. These birds forage for food like other auks by swimming underwater. They mainly eat crustaceans, especially copepods, but also other small invertebrates along with small fish. They collect in large swarms before leaving their breeding rocks to head out to sea for food as well as when they return. Little auks produce a variety of twitters and cackling calls at the breeding colonies, but are silent at sea.
Svalbard, Norway