Black Guillemots on the Cliffs

Black guillemots on the cliffs
Photo 64 of 90: Black guillemots on the cliffs
Taken 2011 July 29 from off the western shore of Ciboux Island near its southwestern end
GPS 46°22.853'N 60°22.730'W

This photo is the best that I got of the black guillemots (a French loan now pronounced as [ˈɡɪləˌmɑts] in English), another bird species found on these islands. There are two of them here, one in the centre of the photo and the other at the far right, holding a fish in its beak, presumably destined for the bird (an offspring?) in the centre. The bright red feet, the black bodies, and the white wing patches on both birds clearly identify them as black guillemots. Their thin dark bills are visible in the original, but obscured here.

Black guillemots are 32–38 cm (12.5–15 in) long and have a wingspan of 49–58 cm (19–23 in). Like a loon, they dive from the surface for their food, which consists of fish and crustaceans along with mollusks, insects, and plant material. They breed in colonies along the coasts of the North Atlantic, in North America as far south as Maine, and lay their eggs (one or two each season) in rocky sites near water. They do not migrate very far south in winter, often spending it in their breeding areas.¹

¹ This information is a rewording of that in this Wikipedia article and in this Cornell bird site web page; some phrases from the originals appear without quote marks.