black-legged kittiwake


ˈblak-ˈlegd- How to pronounce black-legged kittiwake (audio)
: a kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) that nests along northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and is largely pure white with pale gray mantling and black wing tips and feet
Here and there are grottoes with hundreds of black-legged kittiwakes screaming and flying about.Alvah W. Sanborn, Bird Watcher's Digest, July/August 1994
The cacophony of black-legged kittiwake chatter was so loud we had to yell to each other, just an arm's length away, to be heard.Melissa DeVaughn, Anchorage Daily News, 17 June 2007

Note: The black-legged kittiwake has two subspecies: one (Rissa tridactyla tridactyla) of the North Atlantic having the hind toe short or rudimentary and one (R. t. pollicaris) of the North Pacific having a fully developed hind toe.

compare red-legged kittiwake

Word History

First Known Use

1903, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of black-legged kittiwake was in 1903

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near black-legged kittiwake

Cite this Entry

“Black-legged kittiwake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!