1131. Rissa tridactyla

Rissa tridactyla (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 224 (1766) ; (Naum.), x. p. 322, Taf. 262 ; (Hewitson), ii. p. 493, pl. cxxxvii. ; (Gould), B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 61 ; Dresser, viii. p. 447, pls. 607, 608 ; Seebohm, B. Jap. Emp. p. 294 ; Saunders, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxv. p. 305 ; id. Manual, p. 683 ; Ridgway, p. 25 ; Lilford, vi. p. 63, pl, 29 ; R. t. pollicaris, Stejn., in Baird, B., and Ridgway, Water B. N. Am. ii. p. 402 (1884) ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1052 ; Ridgway, p. 25 ; L. rissa, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 224 (1766) ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 435.
Mouette tridactyle, French ; Gaviota, Galina, Span. ; Gaivota, Portug. ; Gabbiano-terragnola, Ital. ; Dreizehen-Mewz, German ; Drieteenige-Meeuw, Dutch ; Tretaaet Maage, Dan. ; Krykje, Norweg. ; Ringtjaen, Tretaig-Mase, Swed.
Male ad. (Greenland). Head, neck, upper tail-coverts, tail, and entire under parts pure white ; mantle dark French-grey or slate-grey ; quills black at the end, the inner primaries with an apical white tip, the first with the outer web black ; secondaries and scapulars edged with white ; hind toe absent or rudimentary ; beak yellow, red at the gape ; legs and feet blackish brown ; iris brown ; edges of eyelids red. Culmen 1.5, wing 11.2, tail 5.2, tarsus 1.25 inch. Sexes alike. In winter the nape and sides and back of neck are streaked with grey. The young bird has the upper parts variegated with black, a mark before the eye and a large patch on the ear-coverts blackish grey ; a semi-collar on the hind neck, the first 4 quills and a broad tip to the tail black.
Hab. The Arctic and subarctic regions of the Old and New Worlds as for south as North-west France, the Kurile Islands in Asia, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence in N. America in summer ; ranging in winter south to the Caspian, the Mediterranean, and Canaries, and on the American side to the middle United States and Bermuda.
Essentially a bird of the sea cliffs, it is only seen inland when driven by stress of weather, and feeds on small fish, crustaceans, and other maritime animals, which it usually fishes up from the surface of the water. Its flight is soft and easy, and it both swims well and can also dive. It breeds on the ledges of cliffs skirting the sea, often in companies of thousands, and constructs a rather bulky nest of seaweeds and grasses. The eggs, usually 3 in number, are deposited in May or June, and in ground¬colour are ochreous grey, sometimes tinged with greenish, or pale greenish olivaceous, clouded and spotted with pale purplish grey and dark brown. In size they measure about 2.9 by 1.53.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
1131. Rissa tridactyla
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Black-legged Kittiwake
Rissa tridactyla
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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