Pigeon Guillemot

Basic Description

The Pigeon Guillemot, scientifically known as Cepphus columba, is a seabird belonging to the auk family. This species has a distinctive appearance with its black plumage and white patches on its wings. During breeding season, their legs turn bright red-orange while their bill turns yellowish-white. They are medium-sized birds that can grow up to 13 inches in length.

Where To Find This Bird

Pigeon Guillemots breed along rocky coastal areas from Alaska down to central California. During non-breeding season, they migrate southward towards Mexico and further down to the coast of Central America.


These birds prefer rocky shorelines for breeding sites where they nest in crevices or burrows among cliffs or boulders near water’s edge. They also inhabit nearby marine habitats such as kelp forests or tide pools where they hunt for food.


Pigeon guillemots feed mainly on small fish and invertebrates such as crustaceans and mollusks which they catch by diving underwater using their wings for propulsion rather than their feet like other seabirds.

Cool Facts

– The bright coloration of the Pigeon Guillemot’s legs during breeding season acts as an indicator of reproductive fitness.
– These birds have been documented using tools such as twigs or feathers to extract prey from crevices.
– Unlike many other seabirds who use vocalizations for communication, these birds primarily rely on visual cues such as head bobbing or wing flapping.
– Pigeon Guillemots can hold their breath for up to one minute when diving underwater.
– Their name comes from the French word “guillemot” which means “dove-like”, describing their plump body shape and short neck.

In conclusion, the Pigeon Guillemot is a fascinating seabird that can be found along rocky coastal areas of North America. With their distinctive appearance and unique hunting techniques, these birds are definitely worth keeping an eye out for while exploring our coastline!