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Pigeon Guillemot | by Kirt Edblom
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Pigeon Guillemot

At the Oregon Coast Aquarium's Seabird Aviary many birds can be see such as the Pigeon Guillemots (Cepphus columba) are medium sized seabirds that are close cousins to auklets, murres, murrelets, and puffins. Eye-catching breeding plumage and the delightful antics of their courtship rituals make them engaging. Compared to other alcids, guillemots have the widest array of vocal calls and behaviors to affect pair bonding and establish dominance hierarchies. Lively duet flights and “water games” begin the courtship. Spectacular chases at, or just below, the water surface, leap-frog competitions, and whistles and trills are typical behavior at the colony. These antics usually occur during a high tide “social hour” on the rocks below nest sites.

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Taken on May 24, 2015