Atlantic Puffin
© Beth Clark

Seabird Species


Breeding from cliffs to coasts, these smaller seabirds still migrate far and wide.

Auks are made up of 23 species (including puffins, murres and guillemots), which are restricted in range to the cooler northern waters. Auks range in size from the 15 cm least auklet to the 45 cm thick-billed murre – but all auks have relatively short wings, meaning they must flap their wings quickly to maintain lift.

Similar to penguins, auks use their wings and strong feet to dive to catch their prey.

Now extinct due to hunting, the Great Auk was unable to fly, much like a penguin of the North.

In The Seabird Tracking Database:
Colonies: 52
Tracks: 1515
Points: 1167499
Data range: 2007 – 2021
Data holders: 34
Species Tracked

Spotlight species: Atlantic Puffin

Atlantic Puffin
© Beth Clark

The Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) is found throughout the North Atlantic Ocean. The species has been extensively tracked, with over 80,000 location points having been noted by researchers. BirdLife International used this tracking data, alongside many more seabird species, to propose the protection of an area of high seabird biodiversity within the North-East Atlantic. Since the Atlantic Puffin is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, protecting an important wintering area could be essential for their conservation.

Please view this page on a desktop computer to see our interactive species colony map.

Tracked colonies of Auks

Use the map below to explore seabird colonies around the world.

Thanks to our data contributors:  Aevar E Petersen; Akiko Shoji; Akinori Takahashi; Anders Mosbech; Annette Fayet; April Hedd; Ashley Bennison; Birdwatch Ireland; Ellie Owen/RSPB; Erpur Snaer Hansen; Flemming Merkel; Francis Daunt; Greg Robertson; H. Grant Gilchrist; Jannie Fries Linnebjerg; John Quinn; Laura McFarlane Tranquilla; LaurieWilson; Mark Jessopp; Mark Mallory; Morten Frederiksen; Thorkell Lindberg Thorarinsson; Tim Guilford; Vegard Brathen; William Montevecchi; Yann Kolbeinsson; Yuriko Hashimoto