Black-legged kittiwake

The black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) is a seabird species in the gull family Laridae.

Black-legged kittiwake
Calls, recorded on Skomer
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Laridae
Genus: Rissa
R. tridactyla
Binomial name
Rissa tridactyla
Range of R. tridactyla
  Summer range
  Wintering range
  • Larus tridactylus Linnaeus, 1758
  • Larus rissa Linnaeus, 1766

This species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his landmark 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae as Larus tridactylus.[2] The English name is derived from its call, a shrill 'kittee-wa-aaake, kitte-wa-aaake'.[3] The genus name Rissa is from the Icelandic name rita for this bird, and the specific tridactyla is from Ancient Greek tridaktulos, "three-toed", from tri-, "three-" and daktulos, "toe".[4]

In North America, this species is known as the black-legged kittiwake to differentiate it from the red-legged kittiwake, but in Europe, where it is the only member of the genus, it is often known just as kittiwake.