Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla



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Photos from this Account

Breeding adult

Small gull with short black legs. Breeding adults have a thin yellow bill.

Nonbreeding adult

Nonbreeding adults have a black smudge behind the eye, but retain the yellow bill. Note the short black legs.


Immature Black-legged Kittiwakes have a striking "M" pattern on the back and a black mark across the back of the neck. Note black terminal band on the tail.

Breeding adult

Wings are more rounded than other gull species, and they tend to beat their wings more rapidly. Note the solid black wingtips.

Breeding adult

Flies with stiff and rapid wingbeats. Note the small amount of black on the tips of the wings.

Breeding adult

Small gull that nests in colonies on steep cliffs. Note the small yellow bill and pale gray back.


Nests on cliff ledges of offshore islands, sea stacks, or inaccessible areas of coastal mainland. Spends the winter at sea.

Recommended Citation

Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: