Red-legged Kittiwake

Rissa brevirostris

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4

RLKI

Code 6

RISBRE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2018 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable

The Red-legged Kittiwake has a modest breeding range, confined to the Bogoslof and Buldir Islands in the United States and the Commander Islands in Russia. Native to the United States, Canada, and the Russian Federation, this bird prefers neritic, oceanic, or coastal marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 291,000 to 321,000 individuals and shows significant signs of population decline that necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Red-legged Kittiwake is Vulnerable.

SUMMARY

Overview

Red-legged Kittiwake: Small Alaskan gull white overall with gray back and wings, small yellow bill and bright red legs. Black wingtips. Eats small fish, squid, and marine zooplankton. Graceful, bouyant flight with rapid, shallow wing beats. Hovers briefly above prey before dipping down to sieze it.


Range and Habitat

Red-legged Kittiwake: Breeds on islands off Alaska, Pribilof, Bogoslof and Buldir Islands, and on the Commander Islands, Russia. The total population was about 259,000 individuals in the 1970s, but had fallen to 168,000 by 1990. Decline occurred on the Pribilofs, slight decline on the Commander Islands. Population has stabilized recently. Found on the open ocean, and breeds on vertical sea cliffs.

whatbird search for your browser

Red-legged Kittiwake SONGS AND CALLS

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"kittiwake"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Populations of the Red-legged Kittiwake have dropped significantly at its main breeding site in the Pribilof Islands since the 1970s, probably due to low marine food productivity over an extended period of time.
  • Recent development of a harbor in the Pribilofs has increased fear of the accidental introduction of the Norway rat, a nest predator, to the islands.
  • There is concern that commercial fishing might be one of the reasons that food supplies for kittiwakes and other animals has been reduced in the area.
  • A group of kittiwakes are collectively known as a "flock" of kittiwakes.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X