23 December 2013

Black-legged Kittiwake: Marseille's Dam

A first winter Black-legged Kittiwake was found by John and Cindy McKee in LaSalle County, Illinois on Saturday. I went out to see it yesterday afternoon and got much better looks than I was expecting.

Black-legged Kittwake (1st cycle). Marseilles, Illinois; 22 December 2013.
The bird never showed any interest in bread, but came right in and landed some 50 ft away from me. A few minutes later, it proceeded to walk within 15 feet of where I was standing.

My only experience with a BLKI coming in this close was with a bird that was ill back in 2010 and ended up dying the day after we rescued it. This individual reminded me a lot of that bird. My suspicion was that the LaSalle County bird was either emaciated or just not too keen on surviving. Birders searched for it today (23 Dec 2013), without success.