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Any of three species of black-and-white seabirds (genus Cepphus, family Alcidae). Guillemots have a pointed, black bill and red legs. Guillemots are deep divers that feed at the bottom. The best-known species, the black guillemot, breeds around the Arctic Circle and winters south to the British Isles, Maine, and the Bering Strait; it is about 14 in. (35 cm) long. The similar pigeon guillemot breeds along both coasts of the North Pacific, south to Japan and southern California; the spectacled guillemot breeds from Japan to the Kuril Islands. In British usage, the name also refers to birds called murres in the U.S.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on guillemot, visit Britannica.com.