Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle)


Closely related to Pigeon Guillemot.

Five subspecies recognized:

C. g. grylle
C. g. mandtii
C. g. arcticus
C. g. islandicus
C. g. faeroeensis

In Nova Scotia, known as sea pigeon, in Scotland generally known as Tystie.


Similar to Pigeon Guillemot but slightly darker and with white rather than gray underwing coverts. The white oval patch on the upper wing coverts is not transected by a dark line as in most Pigeon Guillemots. Body feathers are white in non-breeding and immature plumages.

Where and When

Restrcited to the North Atlantic and Arctic Basin, ranging from New England northward throughout the Canadian Archipelago and sparsely to the northern Alaskan coast and Bering Sea (St Lawrence Is). In the North Atlantic, breeds along the southern coasts of Greenland as well as Iceland, the British Isles, Norway, Sweden, Spitsbergen, and oon many islands along the northern coast of Russia. Has been observed as far north as 89°.


Wheeler, J. (1997) First sighting of a guillemot (Cepphus sp.) in Maryland since Audubon. Maryland Birdlife 53: 3-4.

Copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Angus Wilson
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