Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)


There are two species of Kittiwake the Red-legged Kittiwake and the Black-legged Kittiwake. In Iceland we only have the Black-legged species so they are just called kittiwake. They nest on ledges of cliffs and rocky islands with usually a variety of other seabird species. Juveniles are recognizable by the black W pattern on their upperwings and black band on the tail tip, which disappears in their first summer.

Average Length: 39 cm
Average Weight: 410 g
Wingspan: 108 cm
Diet: Crustaceans, sandeels, capelin, herring
Est. population around Iceland: ~ 630,000 pairs
Residence Period: All year round
Nesting habitat: Cliffs and rocky Islands
Nesting Period: Late May to Early July
Clutch size (No eggs): 2
Incubation time (days): 25-32
Fledging time: 33-54
Typical life span (years): 20
Age at first breeding (years): 4
IUCN world Status: Least concern
Major Threats: Climate change, over fishing, pollution, hunting
Other Names: Rita, Pikkukajava, Ride, Dreizehenmöwe, Gabbianotridattilo, Mewatrójpalczasta, Gaviotatridáctila, Drieteenmeeuw, Mouettetridactyle, Háromujjúcsüllö, Krykkje, Gaivota-tridáctila, Tretåigmås