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Pigeon Guillemot in winter

Pigeon Guillemot in winter
Photo Information
Copyright: PETER TAMAS (sirianul) Silver Note Writer [C: 0 W: 0 N: 509] (3544)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-02-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, Canon 500mm f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/2500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-03-21 19:35
Viewed: 3189
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Pigeon Guillemot is a pigeon-sized north Pacific Auk. During the breeding season, it is black with large white wing wedges. It has a straight bill with bright red lining inside. The red bill lining is a sign of sexual maturity. In winter, much of its body is white; its head and upperparts are lighter and it has a mottled appearance. It has white under parts with buff colored barring on its flanks and dusky wing linings. It has dark wing linings in flight. Its feet and feet are bright red in both seasons. The sexes are similar in appearance. The juvenile looks like the adult in winter plumage.

Range and Habitat
They are found in bays, inlets and channels along rocky shores.

They breed along the coasts and islands from Southern Alaska to Southern California and winters far offshore. They are partial migrants.

Pigeon Guillemots feed by diving for many kinds of small fish. They use their rounded wings as they “fly”¯ underwater using their feet to propel around. They are usually found in water of about 30-90 feet but they can dive up to 150 feet while they search for food on the bottom. You might also see them with their heads in the water while they swim along the surface. They eat fish, mollusks and crustaceans and are often seen holding fish crosswise in their beaks. They are not as social as most acids. They give a whistled “peee”¯ but also high thin squeals, whistles and squeaks.

Breeding and Nesting

Pigeons Guillemots don’t breed until they are about 3-5 years old. The bright mouth lining and the bright legs and feet appear to an important part of breeding. They breed in loose colonies with the male choosing the nest site. They usually nest in a rock cavity but they will occasionally excavate a burrow or nest under a man-made structure. The nest sites are often used from year to year. The female lays 2 eggs. Both of the parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks until they leave the nest in 4-6 weeks. The young fledge at night.

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Hi Peter,
wonderfull clear and sharp picture of a bird I didn't know (knew only the Black Guillemot). The colour of the water is very special - looks like fluid metal! Thanks for sharing.

Very nice shot of this Auk! Never heard of this species before,


Hi Peter,
Lovely Pigeon Guillemot image, looks so cute!


unusual capture and beautiful colours, TFS Ori

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