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Pigeon Guillemont .
Pigeon Guillemot
(Cepphus columba)
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Pigeon Guillemots have been found breeding in the Pacific Basin from just north of the Bering Strait south to Japan and California. They winter in ice-free water within their breeding range.

Adult Guillemots can be prey for predatory birds including falcons and eagles. Nesting adults, eggs, and chicks can be consumed by mink, rats, gulls, ravens, crows, jays, or foxes.

Pigeon Guillemots feed on over 50 species of small fish and invertebrates including sculpins, gunnels, and flatfish, as well as schooling fish like herring, smelt, and gadids.

Sexes look alike. Average body length is 14 inches tall, average wingspan is 18 in, and average weight is 450 - 500 grams.

Life Span
Some birds in the wild exceed 20 years.

Sexually mature at 2-4 years of age, Guillemots breed as single pairs living in colonies of typically less then 25 pairs. Clutch size is typically two eggs, rarely one egg. These birds nest in cavities in rock, dirt burrows or in/under man-made structures. Eggs hatch after a 28-day incubation and chicks stay in the nest approximately 35 days, being fed by both parents. The young fledge at night at 90% adult weight and are completely independent of parents after fledging.

Seasonal Change
During the summer breeding season, adults have dark bodies and white wing patches crossed by a black wedge. Their feet are red, as is the interior lining of the pointed dark bill. In the winter, the birds' plumage lightens to mottled gray, black and white feathers. Juvenile Pigeon Guillemots are mottled black and white until sexually mature.

Morphology and Function
Red feet and mouth lining appear to be important in breeding displays and are signs of sexual maturity. Wings longer and less broad than most Alcids.

Unique Facts
Using their wings and feet, they have the ability to "hover" in one location while under water.

One of the few Alcids to lay more than one egg per season.

One of the most commonly seen Alcids along the Alaskan Coast.

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