Black-legged Kittiwake

Black-legged kittiwake

Scientific Name: Rissa tridactyla

Family: Laridae

Description: They get their name from their call:” kittiwake…kittiwake…” They are unmarked yellow beak, black legs, and triangular black wing tips. Total adult length is around 43cm and width 91cm.

Distribution: Found on the coasts of Newfoundland and the maritimes.

Habitat: Lives in Open Ocean and sometimes open water in bays and estuaries.

Nesting: They breed in colonies on cliffs, building bulky nests of grass and moss on tiny ledges. The pair incubates 1-3 spotted and blotched greenish eggs for 25-30days.

Diet: They usually feed far away from land, and occur in large numbers with other oceanic birds off the coast of Newfoundland. Some come to land to scavenge at wharves and fish plants.

Interesting facts: They are able to spend most of their lives in saltwater environments because they have salt glands above their eyes that enable them to extract and secrete excess salt from their bodies. People from Newfoundland are fond of calling it “Tickle-Ace”.







Ocean Sciences

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000