|Description: This guillemot has an average size of 12-14''. Its plummage is black with large white wing patches interrupted by black stripes. It is interesting to note that in winter, its head and upper parts lighten slightly, however in all seasons feet and bill lining are brilliant red.
Habitat: This species resides in rocky coastal areas, with shallow inshore waters as its feeding grounds. Nest cavities are found amongst holes and rock crevices on the West, North East and South sides of Great Race Rocks. Some habitat for nesting was created years ago when blasting for the helicopter pad produced rubble under which they could tunnel..
Range: North West Alaska along the Pacific Coast to Southern California.
How and what they eat: The Pigeon Guillemot feeds by diving and taking up small fish. Some examples are: Penpoint Gunnels or "Blenny", sand lance, smelt, and sculpins.
Predators: Seagulls are predators of pigeon guillemot eggs. At Race Rocks, the main threat is predation by Bald Eagles, Peregrine falcons and nest predation by River Otters.
Interesting facts about the Pigeon Guillemot:
- In the spring it can be heard making a high whistle.
Mating slide show photos by PB. taken on May 18, 2006
During mating couples will hiss at each other
The slide show below was made from pictures taken by Pam Birley in 2007
1 or 2 greenish or whitish, dark-spotted eggs are laid in a crevice or burrow. This nest burrow had been abandoned,perhaps due to predation, at the end of the season eggs were still present unhatched in the burrow. The light keeper's assistant is shown here. (1984)
References: The Audubon Society Field Guide to North America Birds (Western Region) (pg. 80 and 390)