The Black Guillemot


A little bigger than the puffin, the Black Guillemot is a strong swimmer and accomplished diver. In Elliston, locals usually refer to the guillemot as the “pigeon.” In June and July, the guillemot is black with white wing patches and bright red feet. In August, they begin to shift to winter plumage by becoming grayish. It is difficult to distinguish the sexes but the male is somewhat larger. At the Elliston Puffin Site, the guillemot can be seen nestling on bare rocks underneath the puffin burrows. Unlike the puffin, the guillemot spends its winters on inshore coastal waters. The Black Guillemot is a migratory, non-game bird. The maximum life span is around 22 years.