Global Range: Breeding range is mostly the eastern and western Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk; also the vicinity of San Miguel Island, California. Primary breeding sites are the Pribilof Islands (St. Paul and St. George) in the eastern Bering Sea and the Commander Islands in the western Bering Sea; smaller breeding rookeries are on Robben Island in the Sea of Okhotsk, on the Kuril Islands north of Japan, on Bogoslof Island in the eastern Aleutians, and on San Miguel Island (Adams Cove, Castle Rock) in southern California (Reeves et al. 1992). A few haul out seasonally on Southeast Farallon Island and (rarely) on San Nicolas Island, California (Reeves et al. 1992). In winter, the species ranges south to the Honshu coast, Japan, to California, and occasionally the Mexican coast in the eastern Pacific. Adult females range farther south in winter than do males, about which little is known regarding nonbreeding distribution (perhaps remain near the Aleutians).
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