Rhinoceros Auklet: Medium-sized seabird with black upperparts, dark gray underparts, and white belly. Eyes have long white plumes above and below. Bill is yellow with pale horn. Legs and feet are gray. Swims and dives for crustaceans and small fish. Fast direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Rhinoceros Auklet: Breeds from the Aleutians south to central California and winters off breeding grounds and south to southern California; also winters in Asia.
The Rhinoceros Auklet is actually a puffin, not an auklet. It is the only living species of the genus Cerorhinca.
It is also known as the Rhino Auklet, Unicorn Puffin and Horn-billed Puffin.
They dig tunnels up to 20 feet long. They prefer to dig nesting sites on a slight incline to aid with taking off as they are weak fliers.
A group of auks has many collective nouns, including a "colony", "loomery", and "raft" of auks.
The Rhinoceros Auklet breeds in the Channel Islands of California, the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, Japan, North Korea and Sakhalin Island in Asia. This species spends its winters in offshore and inshore bodies of water. Nests of the Rhinoceros Auklet are burrows in the soil or natural caves. Because this bird is not good at flying, it prefers to nest on a slight incline to aid in takeoffs. This species is also nocturnal, feeding typically on fish, krill and squid via diving up to 186 feet into the water. The conservation rating for the Rhinoceros Auklet is Least Concern.