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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Black-legged Kittiwake - Rissa tridactyla

Native Species
Accidental Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status


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Copyright by: The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, all rights reserved.
General Description
The Black-legged Kittiwake breeds on the subarctic and Arctic coasts and islands of Alaska and in eastern North America in the Canadian High Arctic, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Newfoundland (Hatch et al. 2009). In Montana, this species has no records in the past decade but does have a few historic observations (Montana Bird Distribution Committee 2012).

For a comprehensive review of the conservation status, habitat use, and ecology of this and other Montana bird species, please see Marks et al. 2016, Birds of Montana.

Species Range

Western Hemisphere Range


Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 7

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density


SUMMER (Feb 16 - Dec 14)
Direct Evidence of Breeding

Indirect Evidence of Breeding

No Evidence of Breeding

WINTER (Dec 15 - Feb 15)
Regularly Observed

Not Regularly Observed


(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

The species generally migrates only in coastal areas, both the Atlantic and Pacific.

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Citation for data on this website:
Black-legged Kittiwake — Rissa tridactyla.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from