Pigeon Guillemot Appreciation Days are this weekend beginning with a family-friendly happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 23 at Ott & Murphy in Langley. Members of the long-established research group offer wine, snacks, guillemot, crafts and a chance to learn about the Guillemot Research Group. A field trip begins the following day at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 24. Meet at the parking lot of Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland to form carpools to a nearby pigeon guillemot colony.
Whidbey Island is home to about 1,000 pigeon guillemots. These seabirds gather into colonies to breed in Whidbey’s seaside bluffs. The black-and-white seabirds with fire-engine-red feet symbolize healthy coastal waters. Pigeon guillemots (Cepphus columba) are an important indicator species for Puget Sound because they are one of the few seabirds that breed here and many remain through the winter.
Photo of a pigeon guillemot in breeding plumage by Govinda Rosling