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Brown Skua

From Opus

Alternative names: Southern Skua, Subantarctic Skua, Antarctic Skua, Falkland Skua

Photo by zweiblumenEast Cove, Falkland Islands, 2004
Photo by zweiblumen
East Cove, Falkland Islands, 2004
Stercorarius antarctica

Stercorarius antarcticus


[edit] Identification

DisplayingPhoto by Rodrigo TapiaArdley Peninsula, King George Island, South Shetland Archipelago, Antarctica, January 1992
Photo by Rodrigo Tapia
Ardley Peninsula, King George Island, South Shetland Archipelago, Antarctica, January 1992

Size: 52-64 cm (20½-25¼ in), wing 35.5-40.2 cm, wingspan 126-160 cm, females on average are larger in most measurements, most noticeably in wing length.
Nominate subspecies

  • Brown overall plumage, variable from light to dark
  • Pale streaking above
  • Dark cap (often reduced to a mask in light morph birds)

[edit] Variations

Other races are larger, darker and less streaked above.

[edit] Distribution

Falkland Islands and southern Argentina from Chubut to Tierra del Fuego.

[edit] Taxonomy

This species has been placed in the genus Catharacta with the other large skuas (Sibley & Monroe, 1993; Clements, 2000).

Older texts and some current field guides will treat Brown Skua as a part of Great Skua.

[edit] Subspecies

There are 3 subspecies[1]:

The subspecies lonnbergi has been treated as a full species Stercorarius lonnbergi by some authorities.[2]

[edit] Habitat

Pelagic. Inland (during breeding season)

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

Oct-Nov onwards, on flat grassy areas or short grass heaths. Nest is an unlined or sparsely so, scrape. 1-2 eggs, incubated 28-32 days, young leave nest within 1-2 days and fledge in 40-50 days. Sexual maturity at six years.

[edit] Diet

Scavenger at refuse tips, predates penguin eggs and chicks and burrow nesting seabirds at night.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. BF member observations
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2018)

[edit] External Links


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