29 August, 2009

Arctic Skua

Scientific Name: Stercorarius parasiticus

Population Estimate: 500K-10M (per BirdLife)

Range / Habitat: The parasitic jaeger breeds on the tundra and coastal marshes in the Arctic. In the winter, it usually is found on the open ocean close to the shoreline. The parasitic jaeger is found in northern Alaska and northern Canada during the breeding season.
Field Notes:Two different light and dark morphs of the parasitic jaeger exist.The light morph has ashy-brown upperparts, whitish underparts, and the sides of its head and neck are yellowish, while in contrast, the dark morph of the parasitic jaeger is uniformly brown all over. Intermediates between these two morphs also exist.Most individuals of both morphs have pale or white panels on the underside of the wings.The parasitic jaeger has a long, wedge-shaped tail, with two thin, pointed feathers which extend beyond the end of the tail. The bill, which is slightly hooked is greyish-black, as are the legs.

Personal Notes: Also known as Parasitic Jaeger or Parasitic Skua.

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