Black Legged KittiwakePhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Rissa tridactlya

The black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) is a seabird species in the gull family. Adults of this species grow to 37–41 cm (15–16 in) in length with a wingspan of 91–105 cm (36–41 in). Meanwhile, they have a body mass of 305–525 g (10.8–18.5 oz). This bird displays a white head and body, grey back, grey wings tipped solid black, black legs and a yellow bill. Occasional individuals have pinky-grey to reddish legs. In winter, this species acquires a dark grey smudge behind the eye, as well as a grey hind-neck collar.

Because this is a coastal breeding bird, it prefers habitat around the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans. Hence, it finds shelter most commonly in North America and Europe. It breeds in large colonies, on cliffs, and is very noisy in the breeding ground.

Of the gulls, only the Rissa species nests in cliffs. Furthermore, the kittiwake is capable of utilizing the very sheerest of vertical faces. Hence, their amazing nesting sites on Staple Island in the outer Farne Islands.

These birds lay one to two buff spotted eggs in a bed of moss or seaweed. Their downy young are white. This is because they have no need of camouflage from predators, since they do not wander from the nest.

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