Dumpy, medium-sized alcid with a bright orange bill. Pale button eye and upturned gape give it a distinctly maniacal, smiling appearance. Blackish above and white below, with a long white “whisker” extending down from behind the eye in breeding season; in wintering birds, white extends up onto the throat. Clean white belly distinguishes this species from other similar auklets. Least Auklet has a similar color scheme but is half the size, has white cheeks in non-breeding plumage, and has white-mottled upperparts when breeding. Parakeet Auklet breeds on offshore island colonies, often with other auklet species; it winters offshore.