Re: Black-legged Kittiwake at Cliff House (2 Feb)

Peter Pyle

although, come to think of it, could the tail tip (also) be oiled? P

At 04:20 PM 2/2/2019, Peter Pyle wrote:
Thanks Joe and Al -

You are probably correct. All of my seabird reference books are boxed up at the moment so all I had was on-line images. There are some of young and winter adult RLKI that appear to show dark tail tips and/or hind collars:

but at least the dark-tipped tails are probably mis-identified BLKIs (e.g., 3rd photo above) as I recall this field mark now that you mention it.

Hard to explain this as oiling, especially the primary coverts, but perhaps this is what it is.


At 04:04 PM 2/2/2019, Alvaro Jaramillo wrote:
Looks like it has a black tail tip, eliminating Red-legged. It also does not look to have the contrast expected on secondaries and inner primaries that Red-legged would show.

Alvaro Jaramillo

From: <> On Behalf Of John Sterling
Sent: Saturday, February 2, 2019 2:24 PM
To: Peter Pyle <ppyle@...>
Cc: Ken Schneider <kschnei1@...>;
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Black-legged Kittiwake at Cliff House (2 Feb)

good call, Peter
I’ve never seen an immature black-legged kittiwake with those underwing patterns.

John Sterling

26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695

PO Box 1653
Woodland, CA 95776A

530 908-3836

On Feb 2, 2019, at 2:05 PM, Peter Pyle <<mailto:ppyle@...>ppyle@...> wrote:

Hi all -

This could be a first-year Red-legged Kittiwake. Worth looking into in any case. Not many photos on line of underwings of RLKI but here's one that shows a similar pattern:


Both the primary coevrts and the tertial area being marked dark. By contrast I can't find a BLKI with either. February is the month for RLKI in CA.

Thought it worth mentioning in case others want to go look for it.


At 10:58 AM 2/2/2019, Ken Schneider wrote:

Hi all,

I had brief looks and managed a single photo of an immature Black-legged Kittiwake seen just offshore from the Cliff House at about 0815 this morning. A bit more detail at my eBird checklist here:

I think the photo supports my ID, but I'm a little puzzled by the apparent dark markings on the underside of the left wing (perhaps the primary coverts?), which I don't see as expected in the field guides I checked... comments welcome.

Good birding!
Ken Schneider
Noe Valley

Virus-free. <>

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