Cepphus is a genus of
These are medium-sized birds with mainly black plumage in the breeding season, thin dark bills and red legs and feet. Two species have white wing patches, the third has white facial “spectacles”. They are much paler in winter plumage, mottled above and white below.
These birds may overwinter in their breeding areas, moving to open waters if necessary, but usually not
The species are:
|Image||Scientific name||Common Name||Distribution|
|Cepphus grylle||Circumpolar: Arctic coasts, North Atlantic, Alaska|
|Cepphus columba||Kuril Islands and the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia to coasts in western North America from Alaska to California.|
|Cepphus carbo||Sea of Okhotsk and the Kuril Islands in Russia and on the northern island of Hokkaidō in Japan|
There are also fossil forms
The latter two resemble the extant species, but because of the considerable distance in time or space from their current occurrence may represent distinct species.