Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Charadriiformes > Laridae > Rissa > Rissa tridactyla

Rissa tridactyla (Black-legged Kittiwake)

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Wikipedia Abstract

The black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) is a seabird species in the gull family Laridae. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 as Larus tridactylus. The English name is derived from its call, a shrill 'kittee-wa-aaake, kitte-wa-aaake'. The genus name Rissa is from the Icelandic name Rita for this bird, and the specific tridactyla is from Ancient Greek tridaktulos, "three-toed", from tri-, "three-" and daktulos, "toe".
View Wikipedia Record: Rissa tridactyla

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 5.15521
EDGE Score: 1.8173


Clutch Size [4]  2
Clutches / Year [4]  1
Fledging [2]  43 days
Global Population (2017 est.) [3]  10,000,000
Incubation [4]  27 days
Mating System [6]  Monogamy
Maximum Longevity [4]  29 years
Migration [1]  Intercontinental
Speed [7]  29.304 MPH (13.1 m/s)
Water Biome [1]  Coastal
Wing Span [7]  38 inches (.96 m)
Adult Weight [2]  407 grams
Birth Weight [4]  36 grams
Breeding Habitat [3]  Coastal cliffs and islands, Coastal marine
Wintering Geography [3]  Coastal U.S./Canada
Wintering Habitat [3]  Coastal marine, Pelagic
Diet [5]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates), Piscivore, Granivore, Herbivore
Diet - Endothermic [5]  20 %
Diet - Fish [5]  30 %
Diet - Invertibrates [5]  30 %
Diet - Plants [5]  10 %
Diet - Seeds [5]  10 %
Forages - Underwater [5]  100 %
Female Maturity [4]  4 years
Male Maturity [4]  4 years


Protected Areas

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Important Bird Areas

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
California Floristic Province Mexico, United States No
Japan Japan No
Mediterranean Basin Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Portugal, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey No

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap

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Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Biodome de Montreal
Moscow Zoological Park
Rotterdam Zoo
San Diego Zoo

Range Map


North America; Oceania;

External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
3Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
4de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
5Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
6Terje Lislevand, Jordi Figuerola, and Tamás Székely. 2007. Avian body sizes in relation to fecundity, mating system, display behavior, and resource sharing. Ecology 88:1605
7Alerstam T, Rosén M, Bäckman J, Ericson PGP, Hellgren O (2007) Flight Speeds among Bird Species: Allometric and Phylogenetic Effects. PLoS Biol 5(8): e197. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050197
8Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
9Food Web Relationships of Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca : a Synthesis of the Available Knowledge, Charles A. Simenstad, Bruce S. Miller, Carl F. Nyblade, Kathleen Thornburgh, and Lewis J. Bledsoe, EPA-600 7-29-259 September 1979
10An estimate of summer food consumption of six seabird species in Iceland, K. Lilliendahl and J. Solmundsson, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 54: 624–630. 1997
11Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Ecological Informatics 29(1): 45-56. Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Data from: Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Dryad Digital Repository.
12Foods and predators of the green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis in Newfoundland waters, J. H. HIMMELMAN and D. H. STEELE, Marine Biology 9, 315-322 (1971)
13Diet of the Steller’s Sea Eagle in the Northern Sea of Okhotsk, Irina UTEKHINA, Eugene POTAPOV & Michael J. MCGRADY, First Symposium on Steller’s and White-tailed Sea Eagles in East Asia pp. 71-82, 2000
14Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
15International Flea Database
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Images provided by Wikimedia Commons licensed under a Creative Commons License
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License