Pigeon Guillemot

Cepphus columba

Back to Animals on Oceanscape

The Pigeon Guillemot is a medium-sized auk, the family of birds which also include murres and puffins. These birds can be recognized by their black plumage and a distinctive patch of white feathers that cover the upper wing. They have a thin black bill and dark red legs and feet. During breeding season, the red lining of their mouth and the red color of their feet will intensify.

Like many seabirds, the Pigeon Guillemot seeks out the protection of the rocky Oregon shore to nest and raise its young. Sometimes they will even nest in human-built structures, such as under docks or piers. They will generally lay two eggs per season and both the male and female will participate in feeding and caring for the young. Most of their food can be found close to the nesting area, including sculpins, cods, capelins and crabs. Chicks generally eat more fish than invertebrates.

Range and Habitat

All along the Pacific coast of North America from southern California to Alaska.

Conservation Status