Habitat & Geography

"Distribution: North Atlantic with small numbers in the Northeastern Bering Sea, breeds in Northwestern, Central Western and Northeastern Greenland, Iceland, Jan Mayen, Svalbard, Auk Swimming picture by MPFFranz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya. There is also a small colony on the west coast of Baffin Island, and others on the Diomede Islands and St. Lawrence Island in the Northern Bering Sea. Dovekies are most Northerly of the Auks, rarely seen except at sea, and then frequently near pack ice or near breeding cliffs. Partially migratory moving south to cold currents of the north Atlantic and North Pacific.” (Sale 2006)  The Auk is an excellent swimmer and can fly; however, it is very energy intensive and its morphology (body structure) is designed primarily for swimming. With webbed feet, oily feathers and a robust bone structure to protect from water pressure on deep dives the auk is a water specialist.  (Elphick 2001)