Fun Pigeon Guillemot Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Pigeon Guillemot Facts For Kids

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The Pigeon Guillemot, Cepphus columba as it is scientifically known, belongs to the Alcidae family. Cepphus derived from Greek was used to describe an unknown pale waterbird by Aristotle and columba in Icelandic and Latin means pigeon. These species have large white wing patches crossed by a black bar and these birds are all black with white wing patches in summer and are mostly white with a dusky back in winters. The feet and legs of this bird are bright red in color and the webbed feet are used to propel underwater. The juvenile resembles the winter adults but the underpart feathers are tipped in brown color and their white wing patches can be seen. The Pigeon Guillemot, Cepphus columba, is known to live for about 15 years. The breeding season of this species begins in late April and goes on till September. The nest is shallow and sometimes already existing cavities are used. The adults or parents brood and feed the young until they are ready to fledge. The range map of this bird includes the North Pacific coast from Siberia through Alaska to California along rocky shores, coast, and cliffs, and islands. These species feed on fish and other marine animals like crabs, squids, and shrimps. The diet of a chick differs from that of an adult, the chicks tend to feed more on small fish. The feeding habit is known to differ depending on the season. These birds can dive deep to forage. These species live in small and dispersed colonies. They are known to have larger wings than some other relatives of the auk or other auks. These birds are known to be quite vocal, especially during breeding. Most of the population of these species migrate. It is quite interesting to know about these North American birds, so read on for our bird guide of the Pigeon Guillemot. You may also enjoy reading about the Nicobar pigeon and cardinal bird too.


Fun Pigeon Guillemot Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Fish and other aquatic or marine animals

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

1.1 lb (0.5 lb)

How long are they?

12-15 in (305-381 mm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black, white and brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Predators, Pollution, Netting

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Rocky Shores And Inshore And Islands


Pacific Coast From Alaska To California









Pigeon Guillemot Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a pigeon guillemot?

Pigeon Guillemots are birds.

What class of animal does a pigeon guillemot belong to?

Pigeon Guillemots belong to the class of Aves of birds.

How many pigeon guillemot are there in the world?

The estimated population of these birds is 470,000.  

Where does a pigeon guillemot live?

These birds are found on North Pacific coastal waters from Siberia through Alaska to California.

What is a pigeon guillemot's habitat?

The habitat of this bird includes rocky shores or coasts, cliffs, and islands close to shallow waters. Sandy-bottomed water is avoided as it is not ideal for feeding.

Who do pigeon guillemots live with?

These birds do not form groups or flocks and live dispersed on lands in small colonies.

How long does a pigeon guillemot live?

These birds are known to live for about 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

These birds breed from late April-September. This bird forms long-term pair bonds and thus, reunite each year. To attract the females or court, there are water games that involve chasing birds. This might also include duet trilling before copulation. One or two eggs are laid, which can be cream to pale blue in color with gray or brown blotches. The eggs are incubated by both the parents and these eggs hatch after 26-32 days. The young are brooded by both parents and fed too. The young fledge after 34-42 of hatching and leave the colonies and fly to the sea.

What is their conservation status?

The status of these birds is Least Concern as they are not considered to be in any danger or need of conservation efforts.

Pigeon Guillemot Fun Facts

What do pigeon guillemots look like?

These birds are small to medium-sized water birds and have thin and long bills. Their feet and legs are bright red in color and their neck is comparatively long and thick. They have large white wing patches crossed by a black bar and these birds are all black with white wing patches in summer and are mostly white with a dusky back in winters. The iris is brown and the eye is bordered with a white eye-ring. The inside of the mouth is red. The juvenile resembles the winter adult but the underpart feathers are tipped in brown color.

The white wing patch is one of the identifiable features of this species.

How cute are they?

This bird is considered to be cute by some people because of its dusky black and brown color.

How do they communicate?

This bird population is known to be vocal, especially during the breeding season. There are many calls and some are paired with displays to communicate with others. Calls and displays are made to advertise ownership of territories. Some calls are known to be precursors of attacks. The low whistles are made by unpaired males to attract females. Other calls include communication among mates and screams are used when the predators are around.

How big is a pigeon guillemot?

This bird is considered to be a crow-sized bird. This bird is medium-sized and the length ranges from 12-15 in (305-381 mm). The weight of this bird ranges from 0.99-1.21 lb (0.45-0.55 kg).

How fast can a pigeon guillemot fly?

The average speed of pigeon guillemots is 48 mph (77 kph).

How much does a pigeon guillemot weigh?

The weight of this bird ranges from 0.99-1.21 lb (0.45-0.55 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the females and males of the species.

What would you call a baby pigeon guillemot?

A baby bird in general is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Pigeon Guillemots feed on benthic prey but also preys from the higher part. It mainly eats small fish and other aquatic or marine animals. Fish includes sculpins, sandfish, cod, and capelin. Other aquatic animals include shrimps and crabs and also rarely feeds on worms, gastropods, bivalves, and squids.  The chicks tend to feed more on small fish, particularly on rockfish. The diet sometimes changes depending on the season.

Are they dangerous?

There is not much information available about the dangers to humans from this bird.

Would they make a good pet?

While not much information is available about these birds as pets, it is believed that these birds do not make great pets as they are wild birds and it is difficult to provide the habitat essential for these birds.

Did you know...

These birds often scale vertical rocks faces by the continuous flapping of the wings along with their sharp claws on their webbed feet.

These birds feed their chicks throughout the day and thus, their chicks fledge faster than the similar-sized auks that are only fed during the night.

A group of Guillemots together is known as a bazaar or a loomery of guillemots.

This seabird usually lays eggs in rocky cavities near the water but it has also been observed that these can lay eggs or nest in any available cavity like burrows, disused caves of other seabirds, and even in old bomb casings.

The Northwestern crow, Glaucous-winged gull, stoats, and garter snakes are some of the predators of these species who hunt or prey on the nest while the raccoon preys on both eggs, chicks, and adults too. In water, these are hunted upon by orcas and giant Pacific octopuses.

To forage for food, these species and dive up to 150 ft.

The breeding population of this species in Washington has been observed to not take part in migration.

This species is highly vulnerable to oil spills and other kinds of pollution, change in water temperature, mammals on nesting islands, and gill nets.

These species can be spotted swimming on the surface of the water with their heads submerged.

The nest of these species is shallow scrape in piles of dirt, pebbles, and shells.

The breeding plumage might differ sometimes.

Are guillemots related to penguins?

The common guillemots and the members of the auk family or other auks are related to the penguins but these birds have the ability to fly because of their larger wing size.

Which bird family does pigeon guillemot belong to?

Pigeons Guillemots belong to the auk and puffin family to lay two eggs. This auk family is of the order Charadriiformes. It is considered to be one of the few members of this family to lay two eggs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the grouse or chinstrap penguin.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Pigeon guillemot coloring pages.

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