Saturday, 11 April 2015

Day 159 - Kompletely Kracking Kittiwakes

Kittiwake (Rissa Tridactyla)
Hi all today's Day 159 and as you most probably know, I have been at Bempton Cliffs. We went there mainly to see the Puffins but we also saw 4 things that I hadn't done a post on. I have already done Razorbills, Puffins and Guillemots and all I have left to do are Gannets and Kittiwakes. From the title and pictures, you'll have figured out which. Yes, that's right today I'm going to do Kittiwakes. There wasn't many there compared to what I heard there was at their peak but I did go quite early in the breeding season.

So, here are the facts:
  • They look almost identical to a Common Gull which is probably why, at first, I thought they were. The only way to tell them apart is by looking at the legs. A Kittiwake's are black and a gull's are orange.
  • They are found all around the coast and Ireland, apart from the South-West of Ireland. They are also found on some parts of the coast of England and Scotland but only in the Summer.
  • Their Scientific Name (Rissa Tridactyla) comes from both Iceland and Greece. Rita (Ic) = the Kittiwake + Tridactulos (Gr) = three toed. This makes: the three toed Kittiwake.
  • They are an Amber Status bird even though there are 380,000 breeding pairs in the UK. This is because there has been a recent decline in birds.
It was great watching they fly about
  • They have a rather large typical lifespan of 12 years but the oldest bird stuck it out for 16 years more! It was 28 years, 6 months and 5 days.
  • They are 39cm in length and they have a 108cm wingspan. Both Male and Female birds weigh just 410g.
  • They eat a variety of things like Fish, Shrimps and Worms which is understandable as they only live on cliffs.
  • They, sadly, have an array of threats to their species. They are:
Settling into their nests.
  1. Depletion of food resources (from over fishing).
  2. Marine oil spills.
  3. Chronic oil pollution.
  4. They are vulnerable to the virus Avian Influenza or Bird Flu.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Lovely photos, as always! I love spending time at the coast, seeing the birds is always a highlight! - Tasha

    1. Yorkshire coast is great Tasha - full of fossils and birds and great places like Whitby, Scarborough and Robin Hoods Bay.