Cassin's auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus)

Category: Birds
State status: Candidate
If you see this species, please share your observation using the WDFW wildlife reporting form. Providing detailed information such as a photo and exact coordinates will improve the confidence and value of this observation to WDFW species conservation and management.

Description and Range

Physical description

Cassin’s auklets are small, stocky seabirds about 9 inches in length. They have dark-gray plumage above and have a grayish-white underside. A small white patch appears above and below their eyes. Their beak is short. Like other auks, their legs are set back on their body. Juveniles have overall paler plumage.  

Geographic range

For maps of range-wide distribution and conservation of this Cassin's auklet, check out NatureServe Explorer and the International Union for Conservation of Nature


This species is identified as a Priority Species under WDFW's Priority Habitat and Species Program. Priority species require protective measures for their survival due to their population status, sensitivity to habitat alteration, and/or recreational, commercial, or tribal importance. The PHS program is the agency's main means of sharing fish and wildlife information with local governments, landowners, and others who use it to protect priority habitats for land use planning.

Climate change that affects ocean warming and upwelling in coastal areas could affect prey of seabird species, such as the Cassin's auklet.