KITTIWAKES-Nesting

Kittiwakes are members of the gull family who take their name from the sounds that they make. This season, Kittiwakes are breeding along the northern Pacific and Atlantic coasts. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Robert Suryan is a biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska.

“This is what the Kittiwake colony sounds like. It’s amazing, you hear all these birds vocalizing and this sounds like just a nice peaceful calm colony. Nothing big happening, no predators coming through or anything like that. This is just your typical voices that you hear at the colony. When an adult flies in you’ll hear, or some exchanges going on, where the pairs are switching, you’ll kind of hear an increase in the noise level– like right there.

“A colony would be located on a rocky cliff along the edge of the ocean. In some areas they refer to them as ice gulls because they look very much like a seagull or a gull. And they typically arrive when there’s still snow on the ground at these nesting colonies. But typically they’re on big huge sheer cliffs, right alongside the ocean. And they arrive there early before the snow has melted off and they establish their little nest territories and begin their breeding season from there.”

In autumn, the Kittiwakes will complete their migration south, where they’ll spend the winter on the ocean.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

KITTIWAKES-Nesting

Kittiwakes are Arctic sea birds who take their name from the sounds that they make.
Air Date:08/05/1999
Scientist:
Transcript:

Kittiwakes are members of the gull family who take their name from the sounds that they make. This season, Kittiwakes are breeding along the northern Pacific and Atlantic coasts. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Robert Suryan is a biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska.

"This is what the Kittiwake colony sounds like. It's amazing, you hear all these birds vocalizing and this sounds like just a nice peaceful calm colony. Nothing big happening, no predators coming through or anything like that. This is just your typical voices that you hear at the colony. When an adult flies in you'll hear, or some exchanges going on, where the pairs are switching, you'll kind of hear an increase in the noise level-- like right there.

"A colony would be located on a rocky cliff along the edge of the ocean. In some areas they refer to them as ice gulls because they look very much like a seagull or a gull. And they typically arrive when there's still snow on the ground at these nesting colonies. But typically they're on big huge sheer cliffs, right alongside the ocean. And they arrive there early before the snow has melted off and they establish their little nest territories and begin their breeding season from there."

In autumn, the Kittiwakes will complete their migration south, where they'll spend the winter on the ocean.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.