Guillemots (Cepphus spp.) feed their chicks a diet that is almost exclusively fish. We observed Pigeon Guillemots (C. columba) at two colonies in Alaska where hermit crabs (Crustacea: Anomura) were a major part of the diet for some nestlings. Hermit crabs were delivered to three of five observed nests at one colony, comprised between 2% and 22% of the items delivered at those nests, and were the second most common food type at one nest. Hermit crabs may be an attractive prey item when lipid-rich forage fish are scarce, and crabs living in gastropod shells that have been softened by encrustations of Suberiles sponges may be vulnerable to guillemot predation.
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Hermit crabs in the diet of Pigeon Guillemots at Kachemak Bay, Alaska