[Tweeters] odd guillemot

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 14 11:29:09 PDT 2011

Dear Tweeters,

This bird showed up on August 9, 2011, but I've not thought to post a question about it until today. Here are my notes:

Pigeon Guillemot :::: Green Point, WA Pk
Aug 9, 2011
; also one odd, all-dark guillemot, like PIGU adult with no trace of white

This one guillemot was very close to shore for ten minutes, but I didn't think to take a photo. Its bill was exactly the same shape as expected on a Pigeon Guillemot, not at all short or triangular like that of a Cassin's Auklet or a Rhinoceros Auklet. Still, the bird's wings had no white at all. The whole plumage was blackish slaty, with no trace of brown, including the upper and lower surfaces of the wings. The bird would dive away from me, with its feet toward me, and not once in ten dives did any red show up--although a Pigeon Guillemot would be expected to show red feet. I thought I saw a tiny bit of pale around the bird's eyes a few times, but this bird was clearly not a Cassin's Auklet. The only thing I can find in my bird books is the "snowi" race of the Pigeon Guillemot, but that is from NE Asia, and not expected here. Perhaps this bird was just an abnormal Pigeon Guillemot.

Do any Tweeters have any ideas on this?

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch

Gary Bletsch Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA garybletsch at yahoo.com Mentre che li occhi per la fronda verde
ficcava ïo sì come far suole
chi dietro a li uccellin sua vita perde, lo più che padre mi dicea: «Figliuole,
vienne oramai, ché ’l tempo che n’è imposto
più utilmente compartir si vuole».  

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