Facts about the Black-Legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridacyla)

Also known locally as the "tickle-ace". This is a pretty bird, with a dashing buoyant flight.

It is similar in appearance to the Red-legged Kittiwake, which obviously has red instead of black legs, but that bird is only found off the coast of Alaska.

The juvenile kittiwake has distinct black "M" shaped markings on its back which are visible in flight. It also has a black stripe acround the nape of its neck, and a black mark near its ear, both of which fade until they disappear altogether as an adult.

Its call is a rhythmic, repeated kitti-weeik, hence its name.


(Photograph courtesy of Vicky Martin, Grates Cove)

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