01 February, 2012

Brown Skua

Scientific Name: Stercorarius antarcticus

Population Estimate: 26K - 28K

Range / Habitat: Seabird of the circumpolar subantarctic. In New Zealand breeds on Chatham Islands, near Stewart Island, Fiordland coast plus a variety of other small islands.

Field Notes: Large, stocky gull-shaped bird. All brown except for conspicuous white flashes on wings. South Polar Skua with lighter body and yellow feathering on hindneck. Juvenile Kelp Gull more mottled in appearance without white wing flashes.

Personal Notes: Seen in the Foveaux Strait near Stewart Island. This excellent flier could take food from the air when thrown. Maori name Hakoakoa.

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