Little Auk (Alle alle)

The Little Auk, also known as Dovekie, is a small seabird belonging to the family of Alcidae. It is widely distributed across the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, ranging from Svalbard and Greenland to the Bering Sea in Alaska. The scientific name of this bird is Alle alle, and it is the only member of the genus Alle.

The Little Auk has a small and stocky body, measuring about 19-21 cm in length and weighing around 150-200 grams. It has a blackish-brown plumage all over its body, except for its white underparts, which are visible during flight. It also has a short and stubby bill, which is black in color, and stubby wings that enable it to dive and swim underwater efficiently. The Little Auk is known for its fast and direct flight, flapping its wings rapidly to move through the air.

The bird feeds primarily on small fish, squid, and crustaceans that it catches while diving into the water. It is known to perform deep dives of up to 50 meters to capture its prey. The Little Auk nests in dense colonies on rocky cliffs and is known for its monogamous mating behavior. During the breeding season, males display elaborate courtship rituals, fluttering their wings and vocalizing to attract a mate. The female lays a single egg, which both parents take turns to incubate and protect.

The Little Auk faces several threats in its natural habitat, including climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, and predation by introduced species such as rats and minks. The population of this bird has declined significantly in some areas, leading to concerns about its conservation status. It is listed as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but some populations are considered vulnerable.

In conclusion, the Little Auk is a fascinating seabird that is adapted to life in the harsh Arctic conditions. Despite its small size, it is a resilient bird that has evolved unique adaptations to survive in its environment. Efforts are needed to protect this bird and its habitat, to ensure its survival in the years to come.

Other names

Alle alle



Little Auk

gavotí atlàntic



mala njorka

alkoun malý


Kleine Alk


Mergule nain


Gazza marina minore


mažoji alka





Mala njorka

alkovec drobný

Mérgulo atlántico


Küçük Alk


väikealk e. ürr



mazais alks