Alcids, the “Flying Footballs” of marine birds, are the family of Murres, Auklets and Puffins. There are some 25 species, spread across 11 genera. It’s hard to generalize about them. They range from drab to spectacular, common to exotic and are all wonderful to watch. They are superb swimmers, dreadful on land and, in flight, always look as if they are right on the edge of crashing. Here’s a sampler of some of the Alaska species. All photographs are from St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Bering Sea, except the Rhinoceros Auklet, photographed in Resurrection Bay, south of Seward. Click on an image for a larger view
If you want to see and photograph alcids, as well as see North America’s least common gull, the Red-legged Kittiwake, WC strongly recommends St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs. A bit of Beringia that’s not changed much in the last ten millennia.