Overview

Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDS: northern Alaska south to Aleutians, along coast to southern California; in Eurasia from Chukotski Peninsula south to Kurile Islands. WINTERS: Aleutian Islands south to central California; in Eurasia generally near breeding grounds, casually to Japan.

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Range Description

The Pigeon Guillemot can be found in the North Pacific, breeding from the Kuril Islands (Russia), on the Kamchatkan Peninsula to the eastern tip of Siberia, Russia, and from the western tip of Alaska (USA) down through the Atlantic coast of Canada to southern California (USA), including colonies on the Commander and Aleutian Islands (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 34 cm

Weight: 487 grams

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Nonbreeding: mostly pelagic and along rocky seacoasts (AOU 1983); or, nonpelagic, moving in winter from exposed coast to bays and inlets (Johnsgard 1987). May rest at night in "rafts" offshore prior to breeding season. Nests along coasts or on islands; on cliffs, talus slopes, in rock crevices, caves, among rocks along shores, in abandoned burrows; may dig own burrow, or nest under dock or piers. Often uses same nest site in successive years.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This marine species can be found along rocky coastlines of the North Pacific. Its diet includes a wide variety of small benthic fish and invertebrates, widening to include more species in the summer. Chicks are usually fed fish which tend to be obtained within 1 km of the colony. It normally arrives at colonies between March and April, breeding on sea cliffs and slopes close to regions of shallow water usually less than 50 m deep. It is a monogamous species with high mate and site fidelity, usually breeding in small colonies of under 50 birds, sometimes as single pairs, but colonies of over 1000 birds have been seen. Individuals normally remain near colonies outside the breeding season, though birds from Alaska and California move south and north respectively (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 9934 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 62 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 12.466 - 16.316
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.240 - 3.951
  Salinity (PPS): 31.538 - 33.496
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.685 - 6.346
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.330 - 0.674
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.436 - 9.560

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 12.466 - 16.316

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.240 - 3.951

Salinity (PPS): 31.538 - 33.496

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.685 - 6.346

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.330 - 0.674

Silicate (umol/l): 1.436 - 9.560
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Generally sedentary; probably almost wholly resident at least as far north as British Columbia and Washington, also throughout Gulf of Alaska and Aleutians (Johnsgard 1987). Arrives in breeding sites in central California in early March (Nelson 1987).

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Diet mainly small fishes (e.g., blennies, sculpins, sand launce, smelt, etc.); generally inshore benthic species; also includes mollusks, crustaceans, and marine worms. Forages underwater. Off southern British Columbia, foraging birds occurred mainly in areas where water depth was 10-20 m (Clowater and Burger 1994).

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Population Biology

Global Abundance

100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Estimate of number of breeding birds based on 1970s data: at least 20,000 birds south of Alaska, perhaps 200,000 in Alaska (Lensink 1984, Johnsgard 1987). See also Spendelow and Patton 1988 for information on distribution and abundance in California, Oregon, and Washington (1970s data).

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General Ecology

High (80%) annual adult survivorship (Nelson 1991).

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 14 years (wild)
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Reproduction

Breeding begins from mid-May in south to mid-June in north. Clutch size is 1 or (usually) 2. Incubation by both sexes, lasts 30-32 days. Young are tended by both adults, can fly at 29-39 days. Yearlings and most 2-yr-olds do not breed; first breeds generally at 3-4 years on Farallon Islands (Nelson 1991). Nests singly or in loose aggregation or small colony. Tends to retain same mate in successive years.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cepphus columba

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 3 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

GGCACTCTATATTTAGTCTTCCGCGCATGAGCCGGYATAGWTGGTACTGCCCTA---AGYTTACTCATCCGTGCAGAACTGGGCCAACCAGGAACTCTTCTAGGAGAC---GACCAAATCTATAACGTAATTGTCACCGCCCACGCCTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTCATAGTAATACCAATTATAATTGGAGGCTTCGGAAACTGATTAGTCCCACTTATA---ATCGGTGCCCCCGACATAGCATTCCCTCGCATGAACAACATAAGCTTCTGATTACTTCCCCCATCATTCCTACTCCTCCTAGCTTCCTCTACAGTAGAAGCTGGGGCTGGCACAGGATGAACTGTATACCCTCCCCTAGCCGGCAACCTAGCACACGCTGGAGCTTCAGTAGACCTA---GCAATCTTCTCCCTCCACTTAGCAGGTGTATCTTCCATCCTAGGTGCTATCAACTTTATCACAACAGCCATCAACATAAAACCCCCAGCCCTCTCACAATACCAAACCCCACTATTTGTGTGATCAGTACTTATTACTGCCGTCCTATTATTACTCTCCCTCCCAGTACTCGCCGCT---GGTATTACTATACTACTAACAGACCGAAACCTAAATACAACATTCTTCGACCCAGCTGGAGGTGGTGATCCAGTACTATATCAACATCTCTTCTGATTTTTTGGCCAYCCAGAAGTATACATCCTAATCCTACCTGGTTTCGGAATTATCTCCCATGTCGTAACATACTACGCAGGAAAAAAG---GAACCATTTGGCTATATAGGAATAGTATGAGCTATACTATCTATCGGCTTCCTAGGCTTTATCGTATGGGCCCACCACATATTTACCGTAGGAATAGATGTAGATACCCGAGCCTACTTTACATCCGCCACTATAATCATTGCCATTCCTACTGGCATCAAAGTGTTCAGCTGACTA---GCTACA
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cepphus columba

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
The global population is estimated to number > c.470,000 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1996), while the population in Russia has been estimated at c.100-10,000 breeding pairs, c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals (Brazil 2009).

Population Trend
Stable
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Wikipedia

Pigeon Guillemot

The pigeon guillemot (Cepphus columba) is a species of bird in the auk family, Alcidae. It is endemic to the Pacific Ocean. It closely resembles the other members of the genus Cepphus, particularly the black guillemot, which is slightly smaller and lacks dark wing lines.

Adult birds have black bodies with a white wing patch broken by a black wedge, a thin dark bill and red legs and feet. In winter, the upper parts are mottled grey and black and the underparts are white. They walk well and habitually have an upright posture.

Their breeding habitat is rocky shores, cliffs and islands on northern often forming small loose colonies. They usually lay their eggs in rocky cavities near water, but will often nest in any available cavity including caves, disused burrows of other seabirds and even old bomb casings. Unlike many alcids, pigeon guillemots are diurnal and lay two eggs. Because they can feed their chicks constantly throughout the day, the chicks fledge faster than equivalent sized auks that are only provisioned at night.

Pigeon guillemots range across the Northern Pacific from the Kuril Islands and the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia to coasts in western North America from Alaska to California. After the breeding season birds in Alaska migrate south to open waters, whereas some birds from California move north to the waters off British Columbia. Birds usually return to their natal colony to breed.

They dive for food from the surface, swimming underwater, feeding on benthic prey, which is usually obtained close to shore. They mainly eat fish and other aquatic animals, particularly sculpins, sandfish (Trichodon), cods, capelin, and crabs. Chick diet varies slightly, with more fish than invertebrates, particularly rockfish.

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Artyukhin, Yu.B. and V.N. Burkanov (1999). Sea birds and marine mammals of the Russian Far East: a Field Guide, Мoscow: АSТ Publishing – 215 p. (Russian)
  • Gaston, A. and I. Jones, Ian, (1998), The Auks, Alcidae, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-854032-9.
  • Ewins, P. J. (1993). Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba). In: Poole, A. and F. Gill. (eds.) The Birds of North America, No. 49. Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists' Union.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Composed of two groups: COLUMBA of western North America and eastern Siberia and SNOWI of the Kuril Islands (AOU 1998). Constitutes a superspecies with C. GRYLLE and possibly C. CARBO of Asia (AOU 1998).

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