Kittiwakes are gentle looking, medium-sized gulls with a small yellow bill and a dark eye. They have a grey back with white underneath.
Their legs are short and black. In flight the black wing-tips show no white, unlike other gulls, and look as if they have been 'dipped in ink'. The population is declining in some areas, perhaps due to a shortage of sandeels. After breeding birds move out into the Atlantic where they spend the winter.