- Arctic Skua
name = Arctic Skua
status = LC
status_system = IUCN3.1
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
familia = Stercorariidae
genus = "
species = "S. parasiticus"
binomial = "Stercorarius parasiticus"
binomial_authority = (Linnaeus, 1758)
The Arctic Skua, "Stercorarius parasiticus", known as the Parasitic Jaeger in
North America, is a seabirdin the skuafamily Stercorariidae.
This species breeds in the north of
Eurasiaand North America, with significant populations as far south as northern Scotland. It nests on dry tundra, higher fells and islands, laying up to four olive-brown eggs. It is usually silent except for newing and wailing notes while on the breeding grounds. Like other skuas, it will fly at the head of a human or fox approaching its nest. Although it cannot inflict serious damage, it is a frightening and painful experience. It is a migrant, wintering at sea in the tropics and southern oceans.
British Isles, they breed in Shetlandand Orkney, the Outer Hebrides, Sutherland, Caithness, and some islands in Argyll.
This bird will feed on
lemmings and other rodents on the breeding grounds, but also robs gulls and terns of their catches. Like the larger skua species, it continues this piratical behaviour throughout the year, showing great agility as it harasses its victims.
Identification of this skua is complicated by its similarities to
Long-tailed Skuaand Pomarine Skua, and the existence of three colour phases. This is one of the smaller skuas at about 41 cm length, excluding the pointed central tail feathers of the summer adult, which can add another 7 cm or so. Light phase adults have a brown back, mainly white underparts and dark primary wing feathers with a white "flash". The head and neck are yellowish-white with a black cap and there is a pointed central tail projection. Dark phase adults are dark brown, and intermediate phase birds are dark with somewhat paler underparts, head and neck. All phases have the white wing flash.
Juveniles are even more problematic, and are difficult to separate from Long-tailed Skua over the sea. They are bulkier, shorter-winged and less tern-like than that species, but show the same wide range of plumage variation. The flight is more
falcon-like. However, they are usually warmer toned than Long-tailed, with browner shades, rather than grey.
* Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
* [http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/a/arcticskua/index.asp RSPB A to Z of UK Birds]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Arctic skua — smailiauodegis plėšikas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Stercorarius parasiticus angl. Arctic skua vok. Schmarotzerraubmöwe, f rus. короткохвостый поморник, m pranc. labbe parasite, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – tikrieji … Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas
arctic skua — noun a variety of jaeger • Syn: ↑parasitic jaeger, ↑Stercorarius parasiticus • Hypernyms: ↑jaeger • Member Holonyms: ↑Stercorarius, ↑genus Stercorarius * * * … Useful english dictionary
Arctic skua — noun A seabird, Stercorarius parasiticus, of the skua family (Stercorariidae) … Wiktionary
Skua — Taxobox name = Skuas image caption = Pomarine Skua image width = 250px regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Charadriiformes familia = Stercorariidae familia authority = Gray, 1871 genus = Stercorarius genus authority =… … Wikipedia
skua — [ skju:ə] noun a large predatory seabird, chiefly brown, which pursues other birds to make them disgorge fish. [Catharacta skua (great skua), Stercorarius parasiticus (Arctic skua), and related species.] Origin C17: mod. L., from Faroese skúvur,… … English new terms dictionary
skua — /skyooh euh/, n. 1. Also called bonxie. any of several large brown gull like predatory birds of the genus Catharacta, related to jaegers, esp. C. skua (great skua), of colder waters of both northern and southern seas. 2. Brit. jaeger (def. 1).… … Universalium
Arctic Tern — Taxobox name = Arctic Tern status = LC status ref = [IUCN2006|assessors=BirdLife International|year=2004|id=49262|title=Sterna paradisaea|downloaded=11 May 2006 Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern]… … Wikipedia
Pomarine Skua — Taxobox name = Pomarine Skua status = LC status system = IUCN3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Charadriiformes familia = Stercorariidae genus = Stercorarius species = S. pomarinus binomial = Stercorarius pomarinus… … Wikipedia
Great Skua — Taxobox name = Great Skua status = LC | status system = IUCN3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Charadriiformes familia = Stercorariidae genus = Stercorarius species = S. skua binomial = Stercorarius skua binomial… … Wikipedia
Long-tailed Skua — Taxobox image size =230px name = Long tailed Skua status = LC | status system = IUCN3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Charadriiformes familia = Stercorariidae genus = Stercorarius species = S. longicaudus binomial =… … Wikipedia