Thursday, April 30, 2015

Kittiwake Double-take

 Just about the time I think I can ID a Black-legged Kittiwake at all stages of development, along comes something out of the ordinary.
 In Witless Bay, I was scanning the group of kittiwakes surrounding the fish plant. Why? Just in case there might be a rare set of red legs among them. Well, you can imagine my surprise when I saw this kittiwake with yellow legs.
I spent quite a while searching around the internet to find an explanation for this. I was absolutely unable to find any such oddity. I sent the shot to Alvan Buckley to ask his opinion. He confirmed this is a Black-legged Kittiwake without black legs.  What caused this? Who knows?
The descriptions and photos I reviewed have all Black-legged Kittiwake having black legs like this one. Maybe this unusual one will spur some conversation about the light legs.

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