Bird Species of the World's Boreal Forests


Stercorarius parasiticus
Arctic Skua
"Parasitic Jaeger"


Distinguishing Features - Length: 45 - 54 cm. Colouration: slate-colored cap on head; back, wings and tail, slate; shoulders, dark grey; neck and underparts, white; white spot at base of beak. Two central tailfeathers are pointed and extend 9 cm beyond others.


Arctic Skua Holoarctic; breeds in Arctic and Subarctic of Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia, Russia and Siberia; nests in low grassy or mossy tundra, near water; in migration, open ocean and coastlines; rarely interior waters.


Predatory; fish, small mammals and larger insects; often carrion and food they "rob" from other birds; sometimes other birds, their eggs and young.


Nests in large colonies. First-year birds are virtually impossible to tell apart from other jaeger species.

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