18 January 2016

Red-legged Kittiwake - Inland Washington

In other news, a Red-legged Kittiwake (adult type) was discovered along a forest road in King County, Washington on 18 November 2015. The bird was spotted and photographed by Ronald Hausinger with the USFS, roughly 50 miles southeast of Seattle, near the Snoqualmie Pass.

Photo Courtesy Ronald Hausinger USFS. 18 Nov 2016.
It was likely pushed inland by the violent El Nino storms along the northeast Pacific this season. Whether the bird was in good health or not is unknown as the finder didn't spend much time with it, not knowing the rareness of this species for this location. Typically, Red-legged Kittiwakes found the slightest bit inland don't fair well (the overwhelming majority found on land are usually dead or emaciated and ill).

This record is now the 2nd farthest inland a Red-legged Kittiwake has been found in North America, only second to a bird found in Clark County, Nevada (03 July 1977). That bird perished the same day it was found.