• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Pigeon Guillemot - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Bob Sheldon
Montana de Oro State Park, California, USA, 1 June 2007
Cepphus columba

Identification

Winter Plumage
Photo © by jvhigbee
Tacoma, Washington, USA, 6 December 2003

Length 33-35cm (13-14in).
A mostly black bird with a prominent white wing patch bisected by a black bar or wedge. The webbed feet and legs are bright reddish-orange. The body is tapered for underwater swimming prowess, and terminates in a long, thin, black bill. In flight, the underwings and axillaries can be seen to be dusky gray.
Winter birds are white underneath and mottled gray above.
Juveniles are similar to winter adults but white wing panel reduced to white tips.

Variations

Aleutian populations average more white in their wing. They are also have shorter bills but longer wings cf. populations further south into coastal California. Subspecies C. c. snowi has much reduced white in wing. It is sometimes recognized as a separate species.

Similar Species

Black Guillemot has white underwings in all plumages. Subspecies C. c. snowi in winter resemble winter Spectacled Guillemot, but lack the white eyering.

Distribution

Pacific coast of North America from Alaska to California. (see Taxonomy section)

Taxonomy

Non-breeding plumage
Photo © by Glen Tepke
Monterey Bay, Monterey County, California, USA, 27 December 2004

Subspecies[1]

Five subspecies are recognized:

  • C. c. columba:
  • C. c. snowi:
  • Kuril Islands
  • C. c. kairuka:
  • Komandorskiye Island to west-central Aleutians
  • C. c adiantus:
  • C. c. eureka:

Habitat

Photo © by Bob Sheldon
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA, 15 July 2013

Rocky shores, cliffs and islands.

Behaviour

Actions

Swims underwater in pursuit of food using its wings. Gathers small fish near the ocean bottom.

Breeding

Nests are made in rocky cavities. The clutch consists of 2 eggs.

Diet

Includes fish and other aquatic animals.

Movements

Spring and autumn migrations poorly known, as are details of winter range. Generally winters at sea. Southernmost breeding populations apparently move north in the winter.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2020, January 1). Pigeon guillemot. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:47, March 28, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pigeon_guillemot&oldid=933584929
  3. Ewins, P. J. (2020). Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.piggui.01
  4. Nettleship, D.N., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/54064 on 28 March 2020).

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.

Back
Top