- 15–16.1 in
- 37 in
- 10.8–18.5 oz
- Mouette tridactyle (French)
- The hind toe on the foot of the Black-legged Kittiwake is reduced to a tiny bump, giving the bird its scientific name tridactyla, meaning "three-toed" (instead of four on each foot).
- More predation occurs on Black-legged Kittiwake nests in years of scarce food because the nests are more likely to be left unattended as the parents search for food.
- The Black-legged Kittiwake typically nests on cliff ledges, but will occasionally use man-made structures. It has been known to nest on buildings and shipwrecks.
Nests on cliff ledges of offshore islands, sea stacks, or inaccessible areas of coastal mainland. Winters at sea.
Fish and some marine invertebrates.
- Clutch Size
- 1–3 eggs
- Egg Description
- Brown, blue, gray, olive or tan, with dark brown-gray speckling.
- Condition at Hatching
- Alert and mobile, covered with white and gray down.
Nest composed of wet and dry vegetation and mud (sometimes seaweed, feathers, and barnacles) on top of mud/vegetation platform. Placed on ledge of steep cliff. Nests in colonies.
Feeds in flocks at water surface, mostly in daytime; may dive (shallowly) or snatch food from surface.
Populations appear stable or increasing.
- Baird, P. H. 1994. Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla). In The Birds of North America, No. 92 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologistsâ€™ Union.