Red-legged Kittiwake is a beautiful small gull species that most will never
see in the wild. They nest on a few rugged islands in the Bering Sea,
and in winter are dispersed widely over the North Pacific. They are
closely related to the
Black-legged Kittiwake with behaviors that are largely similar, but the
Red-legged Kittiwake is much rarer.
Habitat: Found on isolated islands with rocky
cliffs during the breeding season. At other times during the year, found
over the open ocean, typically very far from land.
Diet: Feeds on fish, small crustaceans, and squid.
Behavior: Forages by flying over the ocean's
surface, flying down to skim food items at the surface, or making shallow
dives to grab items below the surface. Will feed both day and night.
Nesting: The nest of a Red-legged Kittiwake is a
cup built of mud, seaweed, and grasses, built on a cliff ledge. The female
lays one or two eggs, and both parents help to incubate them. Upon
hatching, both parents tend to them and feed them.
Song: Has a high squealing call typically heard on
breeding colonies. When away from nesting grounds, they are typically
Migration: Nests on a few isolated islands in the
Bering Sea. At other seasons, found in much of the North Pacific,
often far out to sea, and as far north as the edge of the pack ice in the
Photo Information: Photo taken in June 2006 -
Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska - Terry Sohl