BLACK GUILLEMOT

BLACK GUILLEMOT(Cepphus grylle) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: Black Guillemot adults in the summer are black with a large white patch on the wings. The bill is also black but the legs and feet are red, as well as the gape (mouth lining). In the winter the bird is greyish-white with dark blotches but the bill remains black. It is about 30 cm (12 inches) long. There are a few subspecies.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Cepphus-grylle
NAME: The English name of this bird appears to refer to the French name ‘Guillaume’ (William). The Latin genus name ‘Cepphus’ refers to a type of water bird, and the Latin species name ‘grylle’ is Swedish dialect for the bird’s name.
HABITAT: In the summer, rocky cliffs and islands. In the winter, not far offshore from breeding range where lack of ice cover permits.
DIET: Fish and crustaceans.
NESTING: Breeds in large colonies on rocky cliffs, eggs often simply deposited on the ground. Egg predation by opportunistic birds such as gulls. One or two whitish eggs are laid, incubated by both parents, who also both feed the chick(s).
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range covers northern coasts of Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Western Europe. Winters offshore not far from breeding grounds, where lack of ice cover allows fishing.
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_guillemot#/media/File:Cepphus_grylle_map.svg
ON PEI: Breeds on Prince Edward Island and fairly common in the summer and fall, uncommon in spring and winter.
CONSERVATION: Vulnerable to marine pollution and bioaccumulation of toxic chemicals, sensitive to human disturbance such as rock climbing and bird watching.
NOTES: The Black Guillemot is a North Atlantic seabird of the alcidae family. These birds can easily swim underwater as if they would fly, but are clumsy when walking on land. They look like a penguin but are not related to it.
Although the black guillemot can dive down to 30 meters (100 ft) it usually forages in shallow water.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Common Murre, Razorbill
REFERENCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_guillemot
Black Guillemot (.pdf document, Alaska Fish and Wildlife Service)
http://www.npolar.no/en/species/black-guillemot.html (Norwegian Polar Institute)
http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-black-guillemot.html
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black_Guillemot/lifehistory
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/black-guillemot
https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/878/overview/Black_Guillemot.aspx

Black guillemots - Elliston, NL - photo by D. Gordon E. Robertson
Black guillemots – Elliston, NL – photo by D. Gordon E. Robertson
Black Guillemots - Orby Head, PEI - June 2, 2013
Black Guillemots – Orby Head, PEI – June 2, 2013 – Roberta Palmer
Black guillemot, immature - Sept-Îles, QC - photo by Cephas
Black guillemot, immature – Sept-Îles, QC – photo by Cephas

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