In the UK this bird is known as (just) the Kittiwake - elsewhere the Black-Legged part is added to the front of the name. This is a nice example of why the scientific name is useful, because whatever its local name, its formal name is always Rissa tridactyla.
This is a rather gentle looking birds - and although its in the same general group as most gulls, it is not in the classic gull genus - Larus.
It name seems to be an onomatopoeic rendering of its call on the nesting site - described in BWP as "kitti-wa-a-k"! However, for most of the time this bird is rather less noisy than most other gulls.
As you can see it nests on sheer cliffs and rock faces. I can only assume that the chicks are born with a head for heights!
|with razorbills and guillemot|
|photo-bombed by a puffin!|