Category: Sea Bird Other
Facts about the Red-legged Kittiwake it is a marine bird that belongs to the genus Rissa of the Laridae family. The binomial name of the Red-legged Kittiwake is Rissa Brevirostris and it breeds in the Bogoslof Island, Pribilof Islands, and Buldir Island in the Bering Sea off the Alaskan coast, and the Russian Commander Islands, and spends the winters at sea. The total amount of the Red-legged Kittiwakes was estimated to 259,000 birds during the 1970s, but this amount had dropped to 168,000 by 1990. The majority of this decline happened on the Pribilof Islands, but there was a probable small decline on the Commander Islands, as well. Currently, the population of the Red-legged Kittiwakes appear to have stabilized.
The Red-legged Kittiwake is a small seabird, with the body length ranges from 14 inches to 15 inches (35 cm to 39 cm), with a wingspan, ranging from 33 inches to 36 inches (84 cm to 92 cm). As these birds are so small, they are also frivolous with the body mass that ranges from 325 grams to 510 grams (11.5 Oz to 18.0 Oz).
The Red-legged Kittiwake is an extremely restricted subarctic Pacific seabird. Despite the discerning feature contained in the name of this seabird, it is extremely similar to its superior acknowledged cousin, the Black-legged Kittiwake. The Red-legged Kittiwake can be easily recognized through its red colored legs. Adult Red-legged Kittiwake birds are mostly white in color, but their back part and their upper wings hold the dark gray color. The wings are seen with black colored tips, and they have a smaller yellow color bill.
The juvenile Red-legged Kittiwake birds barely fluctuate from the adults, lacking the black color tail band and the W-shaped band across their wings. It takes three years for the Juvenile Red-legged Kittiwake birds to reach the maturity stage. Both Juvenile and adult Red-legged Kittiwake birds will have more black feathers on the external part of their wing during their first winter, and can emerge much similar to the undeveloped stages of other varieties of gulls. However, the Red-legged Kittiwake birds can be differentiated by their solid white colored tail. The only seabird variety that adults may be puzzled by is the Black-legged Kittiwake, but as the name implies, it has black color legs.
Similar to the Pacific range of Black-legged Kittiwake, the Red-legged Kittiwake boasts a well-developed back toe. Some of these birds may occasionally have red colored legs, as well.
The Red-legged Kittiwake mostly feeds on small fish, like lamp fish, sea invertebrates, as well as carrion and squid.
The Red-legged Kittiwake usually breeds in settlements on steep cliffs. The Red-legged Kittiwake birds arrive at their breeding colonies during April and leave during September, scattering to the south over the open sea over the northeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and as far as the east of the Gulf of Alaska. The Red-legged Kittiwake birds construct their nests on cliff edges and the female Red-legged Kittiwake is capable of laying two eggs per breeding period. The eggs are protected for 23 to 32 days, and the young birds will fledge when they attain the age of 38 to 48 days.
Similar to Black-legged Kittiwake, the average lifespan of the Red-legged Kittiwake is 18 years.