Living Bird Magazine
Black-legged KittiwakeRissa tridactyla
- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Laridae
A small, cliff-nesting gull, the Black-legged Kittiwake breeds along northern coasts and winters out at sea.More ID Info
- Gaviota Patas Negras (Spanish)
- Mouette tridactyle (French)
- Cool Facts
- 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.
- The oldest Black-legged Kittiwake ever recorded was at least 20 years, 2 months old, when it was recaptured and rereleased in Alaska.