Home PageBirds of Devon and Cornwall Guillemots  

Latin name - Uria aalge

The Guillemot is the United Kingdom's most numerous seabird, only coming to land to nest on ledges on sheer cliffs or on top of offshore stacks. Both sexes are the same growing up to 44 cm long with dark brown head and upper-parts and white under-parts, its bill is dark and tapers to a point. Some birds are 'bridled', having a white line behind the eye and a white eye-ring. The young leave their nest when they are only half-grown and still unable to fly. They leap off the nesting ledges at night, plummet down to the waiting sea where the parents escort them out to sea to avoid the predatory gulls. The adults feed the young at sea until they can fly and fend for themselves some 3 weeks later, the young then stay at sea for 2 or more years until they are ready to breed. Guillemots catch their diet of fish by diving and chasing them underwater.

Guillemot - Plymouth Sound Guillemot - North Cornwall