Rhinoceros Auklet

A few days after I spotted the redneck Grebe I caught a glimpse of this silhouette off the dock and didn’t know what it was.

silhouette of Auklet

It’s not unusual for me to temporarily forget the name of a bird, but I seldom fail to recognize the shape as familiar. It turns out, though, I have seen one of these before; last year I posted a distant shot of a Rhinoceros Auklet but that’s the only time I’ve ever seen one, and it wasn’t nearly as close to shore as this one was.

Even at a distance the wings on this bird are distinctive,

Auklet with wings spread

not something I was apt to forget quickly.

Needless to say, I abandoned my “walk” to see if the bird would come back once I disappeared from sight. I ended up waiting nearly fifteen minutes for it to come closer, but it did


Rhinoceros Auklet

Although the bird strikes me more as “unique” then beautiful,

Rhinoceros Auklet

it made my day sighting it.

5 thoughts on “Rhinoceros Auklet”

  1. I am new to your blog, and it was the title that attracted me. I like quotes and poetry and wonderered where that phrase came from.
    I enjoyed that rather strange bird also. Last year a group of rather odd birds landed on my front lawn, but have not returned. ..brown and smaller and stockier than crows. They may have been cowbirds, as that was the bird that looked most like them. Any idea?

    1. The title came from a poem by Theodore Roethke by the same name. If you search on my site you’ll find my comments on that poem.

      There are several kinds of blackbirds, but it sounds a lot like starlings.

  2. Hi Loren,
    I am part of a restoration effort for Rhinoceros Auklets. It is difficult to find good photos of Rhinos on the water and we would like to use a few of your photos for educational purposes with your credit embedded in the images. Because Rhinos are nocturnal on the colonies and spend most of their time at-sea, the volunteers don’t get to see them in a natural state. Please let us know if you would like to contribute your photos. Project details at http://www.AnoNuevoIsland.org.

    Thanks, Michelle

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