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Black Guillemot

Cepphus grylle ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: ALCIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A Black-And-White bird of the northern seas, the Black Guillemot breeds along the coasts of Canada and Greenland. Unlike other members of the puffin family, it prefers to forage in relatively shallow near-shore waters.

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Appearance

Gull-like
Gull-like
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized to small waterbird.
  • Thin, straight bill.
  • Large white wing patches.
  • Bright red feet.
  • Relatively long, thick neck.
  • All black with white wing patches in summer.
  • Mostly white with dusky back in winter.

Immature Description

Similar to nonbreeding adult, but with more mottling on head and neck, and black markings breaking the white wing patches.

Range Map Help

Black Guillemot Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

  • Breeding adult

    Black Guillemot

    Breeding adult
  • Breeding adult

    Black Guillemot

    Breeding adult
  • Immature/Adult nonbreeding

    Black Guillemot

    Immature/Adult nonbreeding
  • Immature/Adult nonbreeding

    Black Guillemot

    Immature/Adult nonbreeding
    • © Bill Thompson, Provincetown, Massachusetts, February 2014

Similar Species

  • White-winged Scoter larger and heavier, with small white patch only on rear of wing.
  • Pigeon Guillemot, which overlaps in distribution only in the Bering Sea, is very similar, but has gray wing linings and a broad black wedge across each white wing patch. Black Guillemot may show a thin black line down the middle of the white wing patch.