Little Great Auk

Great Auk

Great Auk

Near the beginning of The Long Winter the Ingalls family discover a strange marine bird. It’s nearly frozen and they nurse it back to life, but nothing they have to feed it seems to go down. They said the bird looked like the image in Pa’s Big Green Animal Book of the Great Auk, only a miniature version.

The South Dakota birders think it was probably an Ancient Murrelet or a less likely a Dovekie. Both have occasionally been found far inland, but they don’t live long because they eat tiny marine invertebrates that aren’t found in fresh water. The Great Auk has long been extinct, but you can look for an Ancient Murrelet or a Dovekie next time you go to the ocean or in a natural science museum.

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3 comments on “Little Great Auk
  1. Holly says:

    I put in Little Great Auk just this minute, and found this post, just a few hours old. How neat to know I am not the only one wondering about this. Thanks for the info!

  2. holly says:

    I do believe I was supposed to find this site today. What are the chances I would type in “little great auk” just hours after this post went up? No idea how I might make it to Laurapalooza next year, but I think I have to try to find a way. Nice find.

  3. Kelly says:

    Hi, I was wondering about this too, and have you ever thought it might be the Little Auk? It seems plausible because the bird could have been blown off its migratory course. Wikipedia has a little blurb about it on its little auk page.