This species is about 38 cm (15 in) with red legs, black bill and a blackish iris.
The breeding adult spectacled guillemot is distinctive, mostly plumaged dull sooty-black except for conspicuous white 'spectacles' on the face
In adult non-breeding plumage, the underparts are white, uniformly tipped very pale grey-brown. Transitional birds are like breeding adults, except the underparts are scaled with white.
Sexes are alike, but juveniles are separable from adults. There are no subspecies.
The spectacled guillemot's range is restricted to the northwestern Pacific Ocean: throughout the Sea of Okhotsk and the Kuril Islands in Russia and on the northern island of Hokkaidō in Japan. Its range overlaps with that of the closely related pigeon guillemot, though it extends further north.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Cepphus carbo". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- (Russian) Artyukhin Yu.B. and V.N. Burkanov.(1999). Sea birds and Mammals of the Russian Far East: A Field Guide, Мoscow: АSТ Publishing – 215 p.
Peter Harrison, Seabirds An Identification Guide ISBN 0-395-60291-2