Random Bird Post: Pigeon Guillemot

Dear reader,

After being hit by a “Pineapple Express” (if you are wondering what that is, click on the name to find out more), we had a beautiful pre-spring day here in the Vancouver region – it was glorious! As a result, I did a long walk in North Vancouver and Vancouver and took many, many pictures. After sorting through them all, I will post a small, but representative sample on the web.

For now, I thought I would show you a few shots of the resident Pigeon Guillemots here in North Vancouver, which tend to congregate next to (or near) the Burrard Dry Dock Pier close to Lonsdale Quay.

The two dozen individuals I observed put on quite a show. Among other things, I observed that much like their cousins the pinguins, they actually “fly” underwater. As you can see from one of these pictures, when they land on water, they use their belies – they resemble stones that skip on water. Another picture featured here also shows two individuals engaging in a rather intense pre-mating ritual. On these photos, you should also notice that their feet and the interior of their mouth are quite intensely red. And finally, as you can very clearly see on the flight photos, they can normally be fairly readily distinguished from the very similar Black Guillemot thanks to one identifying mark, a black streak through the white “window” of the wing. Their underwing is also darker, but that can be misleading on some individuals.

More later, I promise!

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