Family Auks (Alcidae)

Least Concern

Spectacled Guillemot (Cepphus carbo)


French: Guillemot à lunettes German: Brillenteiste Spanish: Arao de anteojos

Cepphus Carbo


, 1811,

Kuril Islands




Coasts and islands from Kamchatka and Sea of Okhotsk S to NE Korea, Kuril Is, and N Japan (Hokkaido, N Honshu). In winter pelagic and coastal, usually near breeding locations and somewhat farther S.

Descriptive notes

c. 38 cm; 490 g; wingspan 65·5–69 cm. Largest of Cepphus guillemots, plump and grebe-like, with long, thick neck and relatively short, robust, pointed... read more


Quite vocal during breeding period. Calls include a fast series of high-pitched, passerine-like... read more


Exclusively marine; near-shore, breeding along rocky mainland coasts in cliffs or on slopes and... read more

Food and feeding

Chick diet largely fish, with wide diversity of benthic species, sardines (Sardinops) and herring (Clupeidae), plus a few... read more


Less known than any other alcid species. Timing uncertain: most birds probably arrive Apr–May; laying probably begins mid-May, with... read more


Resident and mostly sedentary, remaining in vicinity of colony, except in N areas. Pronounced... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Approaching near-threatened status and listed as Vulnerable in Japan, at the southern limit of its range. A conservative rough... read more

Recommended citation

Nettleship, D.N., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Spectacled Guillemot (Cepphus carbo). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 3 April 2020).