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The female kittiwake lays 1-3 pinkish-brown eggs and both parents incubate the eggs and feed their offspring. The chicks hatch in about 27 days then fledge when they are about 40 days old in early August, taking three to four years to reach maturity when they will return to breed here.

The black-legged kittiwake eats marine invertebrates, plankton, and fish. It feeds in flocks and catches food at the surface of the water in the harbour,  Belhaven Bay and behind fishing boats. It also dives just below the surface of the water to catch its prey; in fact, it is the only gull that dives and swims underwater!  (PS: gannets and fulmars are not gulls)

Herring gulls often carry off chicks much to the parents’ consternation. Be quick to look: the kittiwakes are already leaving; all will be gone by early September.

Photos by Kenny Maule

Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404

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