Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Black Guillemot - Cepphus grylle
ALCIDAE Members:
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General Comments Of the six Atlantic alcids, the Black Guillemot is the only one not yet on the state's Official List. The guillemot is also the most coastally oriented species, as birds tend to forage close to rocky shores at all seasons, not showing an affinity to wander far offshore. Thus, most records for the mid-Atlantic coast tend to be in the vicinity of jetties. Oddly enough, despite being farther from the range of the species, South Carolina had a definitive record of Black Guillemot before North Carolina did, and that state also has several verified records. Both of the accepted records for North Carolina are sightings only.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Provisional
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Accidental winter visitor to the coast. The only two accepted records are of single birds in basic plumage seen at the Wrightsville Beach jetty from 24 Apr - 10 May 1993* [Chat 62:32-33 link], and in the surf at Kill Devil Hills on 15 Feb 2003* [Chat 67:68 link]. A recent Dec report from Portsmouth Island was not accepted by the NC BRC, in part because the bird was said to be in mostly breeding plumage (unlikely for the winter season).
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips
1/2 *
Attribution LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2012-06-23], LeGrand[2011-12-06]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.