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

Alvaro Jaramillo

Yes, the third photo you sent is of a Black-legged Kittiwake. Structurally the legs are too long, eye too small, and bill too large. On plumage the mantle is too pale, and the wing markings more intense than on Red-legged.

Alvaro Jaramillo

-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Peter Pyle
Sent: Saturday, February 2, 2019 4:21 PM
To: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@...>
Cc: 'John Sterling' <jsterling@...>; 'Ken Schneider' <kschnei1@...>;
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Black-legged Kittiwake at Cliff House (2 Feb)

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

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



This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.