Great Auk

About the Great Auk
Also known as: Garefowl, Penguin
Great Auk

The Great Auk is an extinct bird, the only species in the genus Pinguinus, flightless giant auks from the Atlantic, to survive until recent times. Standing at 30 to 34 inches high and weighing around 11 pounds, the flightless Great Auk was the largest of the auks.

In the past, the Great Auk was found in great numbers on islands off eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Ireland and Great Britain, but it was eventually hunted to extinction. The last pair, found incubating an egg, were killed on 3 July 1844, on the island of Eldey off Iceland.

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Details & Statistics

International Names

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Related Articles

The End of the Great Auk

On this date* in 1844, off the coast of Ireland, a pair of Great Auks were killed. These proved to be the last specimens of Great Auk ever collected. The Great Auk was a flightless species. It stood up to 33 inches...  Read more »

AOU student quiz bowl

Earlier this month the American Ornithologists' Union had their annual meeting in Philadelphia. During the event, the 4th annual student quiz bowl took place, and Birdorable was proud to donate three of our Great Auk tote bags to be used as prizes. The Great Auk...  Read more »