Tuesday, July 31, 2012

San Francisco Bay Area Seabirds, Pigeon Guillimot

San Francisco Bay Area Bird Watching
SeaBirds of Marin, SF Bay and Gulf of the Farallones

Pigeon Guillimot Facts: Pigeon Guillimot

Pigeon Guillimot Scientific classification
  • Pigeon Guillimot Kingdom: Animalia
  • Pigeon Guillimot Phylum: Chordata
  • Pigeon Guillimot Class: Aves
  • Pigeon Guillimot Order: Charadriiformes
  • Pigeon Guillimot Family: Alcidae
  • Pigeon Guillimot Genus: Cepphus
  • Pigeon Guillimot Species: C. columba
Pigeon Guillimot Binomial name
  • Cepphus columba
Description: Adult birds have black bodies with a white wing patch broken by a black wedge, a thin dark bill and red legs and feet. They are similar in appearance to the Black Guillemot but show dark wing linings in flight. In winter, the upper parts are mottled grey and black and the underparts are white. They walk well and habitually have an upright posture.

Their breeding habitat is rocky shores, cliffs and islands on northern often forming small loose colonies. They usually lay their eggs in rocky cavities near water, but will often nest in any available cavity including caves, disused burrows of other seabirds and even old bomb casings. Unlike many alcids, Pigeon Guillemots are diurnal and lay two eggs. Because they can feed their chicks constantly throughout the day, the chicks fledge faster than equivalent sized auks that are only provisioned at night.
Other Information:
 Breeding plumage is said to have two black stripes on the white patch on the wings. They breed in rock crevices or burrows. They don't socialize with the other birds much whereas you often find multiple species on rocks or at feeding events in the Gulf of the Farallones. Their feet get more intensely red colored during mating season. 

Photography ©SFBAYIMAGES.com (Buy or License Photo)Pigeon Guillimot Facts:Pigeon Guillimot taking flight.

Photography ©SFBAYIMAGES.com (Buy or License Photo)Pigeon Guillimot Facts:Out to Sea. Near St. James Island, Gulf of the Farallones.

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