|Juvenile Black-legged Kittiwake, 20 December 2009; Port Washington, WI. Amar Ayyash.|
Ricky Olson and Kenny Miller reported 7 BLKIs (6 juveniles and 1 adult) on 21 November 2010 out of Pierre, South Dakota. This area gets no more than 2 BLKIs per year and some years none are reported at all.
Most Black-legged Kittiwakes seen in the United States are 1st winter birds since experienced adults take to the open oceans to feed. This adult (or near-adult) is an exceptional find that reinforces what an extraordinary year it has been for this species:
|Adult Black-legged Kittiwake, 27 November 2010; Oahe Dam, SD. |
Likely of the nominate race tridactyla, based on the reduced black in the wingtips and full band on P6.
Courtesy of Doug Backlund.
In Illinois, BLKI is usually unrecorded in spring and rare but regular in late fall to early winter - it's a very rare winter resident. It's not uncommon for this species to go unnoticed on the Chicago lakefront in some years. The last several months have been superb with at least 6 sightings along the Illinois lakefront from November-February and more than twice that on Indiana's lakefront. I had a personal high count of at least 3 juveniles on 18 November looking into Indiana waters from Calumet Park. Currently, there is a wintering 1st cycle bird being seen on-and-off at Montrose Beach and another at Calumet Park. It's very likely that more than two kittiwakes are roaming the Chicago lakefront and it's also very likely that these individuals are a product of the November flock seen at Miller Beach in Indiana.
|Juvenile BLKI, 23 January 2011; Hammond Power Plant, IN. Amar Ayyash.|
|Same bird as previous photo.|