English and Scientific names:

Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)

Number of individuals: 

1 (1W-1S)

Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

On beach along LA-82, ca. 3.5 mi. W of Holly Beach (LA-27 X LA-82)

Date(s) when observed:

20 March 2007

Time(s) of day when observed:  

~6:00 PM CST

Reporting observer and address:

Devin Bosler
Baton Rouge, LA

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Justin Bosler, Cameron Rutt

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

Justin Bosler, Cameron Rutt

Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Overcast sky w/ sufficient PM lighting and opposite sun angle.

Optical equipment: 

Nikon Monarch 8x42, Nikon Venturer LX 8x40, Nikon Fieldscope (all in good condition)

Distance to bird(s): 

ca. 50 meters

Duration of observation:

~30 min.



Behavior of bird: 

The bird was first found at rest on the beach in mixed gull/tern flock. Later, viewed in characteristic quick, bouyant flight with stiff wingbeats.


A medium-sized gull with an extensive black carpal bar (extending onto lesser coverts), medium gray mantle, a slightly cleft tail, and short dark legs. At rest, the gull appeared to stand awkwardly with body tilted up, seemingly bottom-heavy. A first-winter gull retaining solid black hind collar (neck-boa), black tail band, and diagnostic dark ear-spot (also dark smudge above the eye). A greenish-yellow bill (w/ minimal gonydeal angle) suggestive of first-summer traits. In flight, the bold black M-pattern on the upper wings was markedly visible.



Similar species:

Unmistakable in this plumage, slightly smaller than Ring-billed Gull and noticeably larger than Bonaparte's Gull.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Yes, by Devin Bosler

Previous experience with this species: 

Familiar with this species from frequent trips to MA.

Identification aids:

Gulls of North America, Europe, and Asia by Klaus Malling Olsen and Hans Larsson

This description is written from: 

notes taken at time of observation and memory

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 




Devin Bosler

Date and time: 

24 March 2007, 2230h