Dumpy, dark alcid with pale eyes; very small, only slightly larger than a sparrow. Note the thin white “whiskers” trailing backwards from behind each eye. Breeding birds are dark gray-black overall, with a droopy forward-arching crest and a bright orange bill with an uptilted gape which gives them a maniacally grinning appearance. Non-breeding adults and immatures are duller, with a smaller, darker bill and the barest hints of a crest. Breeds in immense colonies on remote rocky islands and forages out at sea. Very vocal at colonies, but also gives occasional yapping barks when out foraging in groups.