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Encyclopedia > Stercorariidae
Pomarine Skua
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Stercorariidae
  • Stercorarius
    • Catharacta

The skuas are seabirds in the family Stercorariidae. The smaller skuas are called jaegers in North America.

Skuas nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants.

Outside the breeding season they take fish, offal and carrion. Many are partial kleptoparasites, chasing gulls, terns and other seabirds to steal their catches; the larger species also regularly kill and eat adult birds, up to the size of Great Black-backed Gulls. On the breeding grounds they commonly eat lemmings, and the eggs and young of other birds.

They are in general medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They have longish bills with a hooked tip, and webbed feet with sharp claws. They look like large dark gulls, but have a fleshy cere above the upper mandible. They are strong, acrobatic fliers.

Skuas are related to gulls, waders, auks and skimmers. The skuas are often split into two genera with only the smaller species retained in Stercorarius, and the large species transferred to Catharacta, but there is no real genetic basis for this separation. Pomarine Skua is in fact more closely related to Great Skua than it is to either Arctic or Long-tailed Skuas.


See also

Skua is also a British sounding rocket.

  Results from FactBites:
Stercorariidae - encyclopedia article about Stercorariidae. (2073 words)
Pomarine Skua Pomarine Skua, Stercorarius pomarinus, known as Pomarine Jaeger in North America, is a seabird in the skua family Stercorariidae.
This species breeds in the high Arctic of Eurasia and North America, with major populations in Russia, Alaska and Canada and smaller populations around the rest of the Arctic.
This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional.
Stercorariidae --¬† Encyclop√¶dia Britannica (401 words)
They are rapacious birds resembling a dark gull with a forward-set fl cap and projecting central tail feathers.
In American usage, the name is restricted to Catharacta skua, called great skua in Britain; three smaller birds also known in Britain as skuas are called jaegers in the United States (see jaeger).
A seabird belonging with the jaegers to the family Stercorariidae, the skua is related to the gulls and terns.
  More results at FactBites »



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