The black guillemot or tystie (Cepphus grylle) is a medium-sized alcid. The genus name Cepphus is from Ancient Greek kepphos, a pale waterbird mentioned by Greek authors including Aristotle. The species name grylle was the local dialect name for this bird in Gotland at the time of Linnaeus's visit there in 1741. The English word "guillemot" is from French guillemot probably derived from Guillaume, "William".

Adult birds have black bodies with a white wing patch, a thin dark bill, and red legs and feet. They show white wing linings in flight. In winter, the upperparts are pale grey and the underparts are white. The wings remain black with the large white patch on the inner wing. They are 32–38 cm in length, and with a 49–58 cm wingspan.



Their breeding habitat is rocky shores, cliffs and islands on northern Atlantic coasts in eastern North America as far south as Maine, and in western Europe as far south as Ireland.They are one of the few birds to breed on Surtsey, Iceland a new volcanic island. In the UK it is a fairly common breeding bird in western and northern Scotland and Ireland. In the rest of Great Britain they only breed at St. Bees Head in Cumbria, the Isle of Man and on east Anglesey in north Wales. Some birds breed in Alaska where their range overlaps with the pigeon guillemot. They usually lay their eggs in rocky sites near water.

There are five listed subspecies of the black guillemot:

C. g. mandtii – (Lichtenstein, 1822): northeast Canada to Svalbard to northern Siberia & northern Alaska.

C. g. arcticus – (Brehm, 1824): northeast United States, southeast Canada & south Greenland to the Ireland and Britain, southern Scandinavia & the White Sea.

C. g. islandicus – (Hørring, 1937): Iceland.

C. g. faroeensis – (Brehm, 1831): Faroe Islands.

C. g. grylle – (Linnaeus, 1758): Baltic Sea.

These birds often overwinter in their breeding areas, moving to open waters if necessary, but usually not migrating very far south.

They dive for food from the surface, swimming underwater. They mainly eat fish and crustaceans, also some mollusks, insects and plant material.

The call in the breeding season is a high whistle. The red gape is also prominent then.
Black Guillemot
Date Location Count
2020-02-09 10:42Nags Head--Jennette's Pier1
2020-02-17 11:15Block Island1
2020-02-22 11:42Block Island-Point Judith Ferry1
2020-02-01 08:59Allerton Point9
2020-02-01 10:06Winter Island1
2020-02-24 07:55Brant Rock beach, Marshfield2
2020-02-02 16:30West Beach1
2020-02-21 10:50Parker River NWR1
2020-02-15 12:02Hyannis Harbor1
2020-02-22 11:34Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary (Mass Audubon)2
2020-02-09 11:03Eastern Point--General Area2
2020-02-01 09:50Seabrook Beach2
2020-01-31 09:21Rocky Neck, Gloucester1
2020-01-27 12:35Niles Pond & Brace Cove1
2020-02-22 10:12Niles Beach1
2020-01-31 11:42Hampton Beach SP1
2020-02-06 14:30North Shore Arts Association1
2020-02-24 09:15Jodrey State Fish Pier1
2020-02-23 13:47Bass Rocks, Gloucester5
2020-02-01 11:01Great Boars Head, Hampton3
2020-02-22 10:28Cape Ann (please use more refined location)1
2020-02-23 15:10Halibut Point SP1
2020-02-02 09:45Little Boars Head, N. Hampton2
2020-02-24 07:37Andrews Point, Rockport4
2020-02-23 14:15Loblolly Cove1
2020-02-23 09:29Corporation Beach1
2020-02-04 13:02NH coast1
2020-02-23 06:10Race Point2
2020-02-02 13:00Pulpit Rocks, Rye2
2020-02-01 11:45cove s. of Odiorne Point SP, Rye2
2020-02-02 11:27Rt. 1A, second pullout s. of Odiorne Pt., Rye1
2020-02-16 11:56Odiorne Point SP, Rye2
2020-02-23 07:47Race Point Beach, Provincetown1
2020-02-02 15:04Great Island Common, New Castle2
2020-02-09 11:11Provincetown Harbor--boat ramp7
2020-01-31 07:15Offshore waters - NH1
2020-02-23 13:30MacMillan Wharf1
2020-02-09 12:55Provincetown Harbor5
2020-02-19 11:15Wellfleet Town Pier1
2020-02-24 14:15Cape Neddick Light1
2020-02-12 12:18Cliff House, York1
2020-01-31 08:00Jeffrey's Ledge (Massachusetts)1
2020-02-14 13:05Parsons Way (Ocean Ave)1
2020-01-31 12:30Biddeford Pool--Ocean Ave.1
2020-02-24 10:25Biddeford Pool--East Point Sanctuary1
2020-02-15 11:15Scarborough Marsh--Pine Point1
2020-02-25 11:17Kettle Cove2
2020-02-25 09:51Two Lights SP3
2020-02-25 10:43Dyer Point1
2020-02-02 11:55Trundy Point2
2020-02-22 16:30Portland Head Light2
2020-02-09 16:10Giant's Stairs and McIntosh Lot Preserve1
2020-02-23 14:41Stover's Point Preserve, Harpswell (HHLT)2
2020-02-02 11:40Bowdoin College Coastal Studies Center, Harpswell1
2020-02-05 11:20Hermit Island, Phippsburg1
2020-01-29 10:07Reid SP--Griffith's Head1
2020-02-16 09:00Reid SP, Georgetown3
2020-02-16 13:00Five Islands4
2020-02-14 15:13Ocean Point Path, Boothbay1
2020-02-19 11:29Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park2
2020-02-14 14:42Pemaquid Harbor2
2020-02-16 16:03New Harbor, Bristol1
2020-02-17 15:32Harbor Park3
2020-02-02 08:49Rockland Harbor--Breakwater1
2020-02-16 09:27Owls Head SP1
2020-02-23 08:45Rockland - Vinalhaven Ferry21
2020-02-23 10:10Vinalhaven--Lane's Island Preserve (TNC)3
2020-02-17 13:02Lopaus Point Road4
2020-02-15 13:30Acadia NP--Seawall Picnic Area1
2020-01-28 13:00Acadia NP--Seawall Pond3
2020-02-12 16:55Cable Crossing Rd., Southwest Harbor1
2020-01-31 08:25Acadia NP--Ocean Drive1
2020-02-09 11:55Acadia NP--Great Head1
2020-02-21 11:35Bar Harbor--Town Landing1
2020-02-22 10:30Acadia NP--Schoodic Point1
2020-02-23 10:00Acadia NP--Schoodic Loop Road (Mt. Desert Narrows)3
2020-02-23 11:01Arey Cove turnout1
2020-02-22 09:30Winter Harbor1
2020-01-30 09:15Acadia NP--Schoodic Peninsula10
2020-02-25 10:00Acadia NP--Frazer Point1
2020-02-23 13:20Acadia NP--Blueberry Hill2
2020-02-20 11:38Acadia NP--East Schoodic Drive 2
2020-02-22 12:14Prospect Harbor Point2
2020-02-23 13:52Corea - Cranberry Point2
2020-01-31 12:10Petit Manan NWR--Petit Manan Island1
2020-02-14 10:43Quai, Pointe-au-Pic53
2020-02-25 16:41Quai, St-Siméon4
2020-02-14 13:08Pointe-aux-Alouettes12
2020-02-05 16:00Clark Ledge1
2020-02-14 11:10Grand Manan--Ingalls Head1
2020-02-25 15:30White Head Ferry (Traversier)4
2020-02-21 14:45Campobello--Head Harbour Light2
2020-01-29 14:30White Head--Long Point Beach1
2020-02-17 13:45Castalia Marsh--Bancroft Point Rd1
2020-02-23 12:00White Head--Langmaid Cove & Dump2
2020-02-23 11:50Green's Point75
2020-01-31 07:30Blacks Harbour/Grand Manan Ferry1
2020-02-01 09:00Blacks Harbour4
2020-02-16 08:29Thomas Road, Cape Forchu1
2020-02-16 06:13Grande Pointe4
2020-02-17 07:45Yarmouth Harbour2
2020-02-04 12:56Cape St. Marys1
2020-02-01 09:16Meteghan Wharf1
2020-02-11 15:55Dennis Point Wharf2
2020-02-02 10:25Point Lepreau1
2020-02-16 15:00West Head (Newellton)1
2020-02-19 10:50Cape Sable Island--Swimm Point1
2020-02-19 10:10Cape Sable Island--The Hawk1
2020-02-17 13:53Cape Sable Island1
2020-02-11 10:30Cape Sable Island--Daniel's Head2
2020-02-23 15:40Baccaro Peninsula--Baccaro Point2
2020-02-24 13:10PN du Bic--embouchure Rivière du Bic1
2020-02-04 11:30Baccaro Peninsula--Crow Neck Beach P.P.1
2020-02-24 09:27Quai, Forestville75
2020-02-17 09:40Blanche Peninsula1
2020-02-17 13:44Annapolis Basin Look Off Provincial Park1
2020-02-24 10:50Town of Lockeport10
2020-02-14 14:33Crescent Beach2
2020-02-22 11:50Black Rock Lighthouse1
2020-01-27 14:05Princess Inlet Drive2
2020-02-22 16:01Lunenburg Waterfront2
2020-01-30 16:16Second Peninsula2
2020-01-27 09:29Blandford1
2020-02-25 15:35Aspotogan Peninsula--New Harbour (+ Herring Point)1
2020-02-03 11:03Aspotogan Peninsula--Bayswater Beach Provincial Park1
2020-02-24 14:13Peggy's Cove1
2020-01-28 12:10Meiseners Point, Ingramport1
2020-02-19 12:52St. Margaret's Bay Look Off Park1
2020-02-24 07:15Crystal Crescent Beach1
2020-02-21 16:06Sambro1
2020-02-09 15:00Dewolfe Park and Mill Cove4
2020-02-08 17:19Halifax Peninsula--Horseshoe Island Park1
2020-02-17 10:24Halifax Peninsula--Northwest Arm3
2020-02-23 08:15Halifax Peninsula--St. Mary's Boat Club1
2020-02-23 15:50Sir Sandford Fleming Park (+ Frog Pond)1
2020-02-25 11:00Halifax Peninsula--End of South Street1
2020-02-11 13:50Halifax Peninsula--Oakland Road Park2
2020-02-05 09:51Herring Cove2
2020-02-20 15:51Halifax Peninsula--Atlantic School Of Theology2
2020-02-09 11:16Purcells Cove3
2020-02-17 14:30Duncan's Cove1
2020-02-16 07:34Chebucto Head4
2020-02-24 09:40Point Pleasant Park1
2020-02-09 11:08Ferguson's Cove Road1
2020-02-17 15:49Halifax Peninsula--Marginal Road Container Port1
2020-02-24 08:45Halifax Waterfront (Market to Purdy's Wharf)3
2020-02-08 10:30Halifax-Alderney (Dartmouth) Ferry1
2020-02-17 12:55Alderney Landing Waterfront2
2020-02-24 09:37Dartmouth Cove1
2020-02-17 12:00NSCC - Dartmouth Waterfront Campus Overlook5
2020-02-20 08:45McCormacks Beach PP1
2020-02-01 10:55Cow Bay Church2
2020-02-23 07:44Rainbow Haven Provincial Park1
2020-02-08 14:00Martinique Beach Provincial Park2
2020-02-01 07:25Taylor Head Provincial Park3
2020-02-17 12:30Sober Island8
2020-01-27 14:46Port Bickerton Lighthouse 1
2020-02-01 13:00Pointe, Old-Harry19
2020-02-18 12:27Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site1
2020-02-25 16:13Fortress of Louisbourg--Royal Battery4
2020-02-18 12:55Louisbourg Harbour Government Wharf3
2020-02-25 14:52Louisbourg Lighthouse1
2020-01-31 12:17New Haven Cove1
2020-02-11 11:15Gabion (St-Pierre)37
2020-02-01 09:45Diamant2
2020-02-11 13:50NL--The Beaches1
2020-02-05 12:15Saint Lawrence--Harbour1
2020-02-15 13:05Forteau--Grassy Point Road1
2020-02-01 15:15NL--Embree2
2020-02-23 12:05NL--St. Shott's2
2020-02-23 10:10NL--Portugal Cove South2
2020-02-23 08:45NL--Bear Cove1
2020-02-15 15:26NL--Renews--beach & bay2
2020-02-22 12:51NL--Brigus South4
2020-02-10 10:10NL--St. Michael's3
2020-02-15 13:51CBS--Topsail/Chamberlains sewer outflow3
2020-02-10 08:54Witless Bay--South side (Gallow's Cove Rd, etc)4
2020-02-10 08:27Witless Bay--Lower Pond & Bear Cove Head area3
2020-02-15 13:29CBS--St. Thomas Line Muster Station1
2020-02-24 10:56NL--Bonavista--Upper Amherst Cove2
2020-02-17 16:19NL--Portugal Cove6
2020-02-15 09:30NL--East Coast Trail--The Spout to Bay Bulls Lighthouse1
2020-02-25 12:22NL--Maddox Cove1
2020-02-23 11:18NL--Torbay4
2020-02-24 14:45St. John's--Cuckhold's Cove area2
2020-02-25 06:56NL--Cape Bonavista3
2020-02-21 10:29NL--Flatrock5
2020-02-25 14:27NL--Cape Spear40
2020-02-16 10:34East Coast Trail--Torbay Point1
2020-02-15Rif
2020-02-15Ólafsvík
2020-02-15Grundarfjörður2
2020-02-09 11:08Keflavík--víkin (bay)1
2020-02-11 15:00Keflavík--höfnin (harbour)2
2020-01-27 11:50Njarðvík--höfnin (harbour area)3
2020-02-21 16:33Seltjarnarnes--Snoppa
2020-02-18 12:16Seltjarnarnes--Eiðistorg1
2020-02-16 10:50Reykjavík--Örfirisey9
2020-02-16 12:35Reykjavík--101 (city centre)2
2020-02-25 10:33Þorlákshöfn1
2020-02-25 12:45Húsavík--hafnarsvæði (harbour area)
2020-02-08 16:20Tjörnes--Eyvík2
2020-01-27 10:00Vetrarfuglatalning (CBC count point)--235 (Máfhöfði-Lón)7
2020-02-09 15:58Þórshöfn4
2020-02-09 14:25Bakkaflói--Miðfjörður1
2020-02-09 14:36Bakkaflói--Þorvaldsstaðir3
2020-02-22 12:18Berufjörður--Krossbót2
2020-01-28 12:55Creggoduff Strand40
2020-02-14 16:36Aillebrack6
2020-02-20 10:05Rossadillask2
2020-02-20 14:29Crookhaven2
2020-01-30 15:06Mannin Beg1
2020-02-10 09:28Ross Beach1
2020-01-28 14:34Dog's Bay & Gurteen Bay1
2020-02-10 13:45Barnaderg Bay1
2020-02-11 14:28Killary Harbour--Rosroe Pier1
2020-02-10 12:49Kilkieran Harbour2
2020-02-12 16:10Leadmore1
2020-02-23 07:38Gleninagh Quay/Coolsiva Pier2
2020-02-19 10:20Aughinish--martello tower area2
2020-02-23 17:15Aughinish--causeway25
2020-02-23 16:32Newtownlynch Pier10
2020-02-19 08:33Traught Beach1
2020-02-19 09:06Parkmore2
2020-02-14 12:33Cobh Seafront1
2020-02-17 12:58Aghada Bay (ESB to Rostellan)2
2020-01-28 11:19Aghada Pier3
2020-02-09 11:20Kilmore Quay1
2020-02-02 10:05Rosslare Harbour and Europort7
2020-02-18 07:48Tolka Estuary3
2020-02-14 14:30South Dublin Bay1
2020-02-24 10:33Great South Wall9
2020-02-18 08:15North Bull Island NR--Wooden Bridge & Bull Wall3
2020-02-07 13:20Dun Laoghaire Harbour--general area1
2020-02-23 12:30Dun Laoghaire Harbour--East Pier2
2020-01-27 14:15Dillon's Park5
2020-02-23 07:38East Coast NR1
2020-02-23 10:52Kilcoole--marsh and coast6
2020-02-20 11:10Skerries2
2020-02-09 14:37Howth1
2020-02-25 22:12Bruichladdich1
2020-02-06 10:23Rathlin Island--Church Bay2
2020-02-16 11:50Rathlin Island--Doon Bay1
2020-02-13 08:00Titanic Quarter2
2020-02-05 15:40Claggain Bay1
2020-02-23 13:20Kennacraig to Port Askaig Ferry1
2020-02-01 13:05West Loch Tarbert4
2020-02-01 11:25Tarbert Harbour8
2020-02-08 12:43The Wig
2020-02-18 17:20Holyhead Harbour1
2020-02-21 14:20Port Erin1
2020-02-15 10:45Kirkjubøur2
2020-02-10 11:11Peel Bay1
2020-02-15 15:30Torshavn--Old Hoyvik Bay and peninsula3
2020-02-11 08:00Holy Loch1
2020-02-11 09:10Loch Long--Glenfinart1
2020-02-13 15:31Douglas Bay2
2020-02-23 09:53Douglas--Outer Harbour2
2020-02-09 11:01Troon--Harbour and Ballast Bank1
2020-02-07 10:15Nairn Harbour1
2020-02-23 10:08Burghead1
2020-02-12 14:30River Lossie at Lossiemouth1
2020-02-06 12:30Rattray Head1
2020-02-05 11:20Fyns Hoved5
2020-02-13 08:10Gjerrild Nordstrand Øst1
2020-02-23 13:05Hönö1
2020-02-09 12:53Trondheim--Leangenbukta2
2020-02-17 13:00Tautra--Svaet2
2020-02-05 04:00Stamsund rorbuer1
2020-02-02 09:39Torö--Södra2
2020-02-11 10:00Kaldfjorden--Innelvvegen 4532
2020-02-25 11:05Inkoo--Sommarn20
2020-02-20 08:14Kirkkonummi--Mäkiluoto2