Kittiwake Gull Drawing

kittiwake gull drawingNice black and white Kittiwake gull drawing from 1848. That was the year that Jane W. Loudon published a chatty book about her experiences during a holiday on the Isle of Wight. She talks about the interesting people, animals and historical treasures she visited with during her family’s time there.

There are two types of Kittiwakes, one with black legs and one with bright red legs. If I had to guess, based on location the bird depicted in this illustration was a black-legged kittiwake (R. tridactyla). Both species are thought to be the only gulls that nest exclusively on cliffs.

Loudon retells a charming story about a pet kittiwake. Some cottagers at Bonchurch kept one of these birds for 27 years. The bird would return to them each August after spending the spring and summer months with the wild gulls. Sounds like a most clever bird. Enjoy all the benefits of the summertime colony without having to migrate to warmer climes each winter.

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.