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Chilean Skua

From Opus

Stercorarius chilensis

Catharacta chilensis

Photo by Fritz73Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, 2000
Photo by Fritz73
Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, 2000


[edit] Identification


  • Greyish-brown upperparts and head
  • Neck striped with white in front and ochre on rear
  • Reddish-ochre upper tail coverts, under wing coverts, chest and abdomen
  • Dark brown wings
  • Black bill and legs
Photo by Rodrigo ReyesQuintero, central Chile, May 2007
Photo by Rodrigo Reyes
Quintero, central Chile, May 2007

These skuas are well marked with the dark cap and light cheeks. Cinnamon underwing coverts seems to be an important identification point.

[edit] Distribution

South America: found on the coasts of southern Chile and southern Argentina; ranges north to tropics.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1] which in the past has been placed in genus Catharacta. Prior to that it has been involved in a series of splits, originally being placed in Great Skua.

[edit] Habitat

Coastal zones.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

They nest colonially in low peat bogs. The nests are made from grass the clutch consists of 2-3 coffee and pale purple eggs with grey spots.

[edit] Diet

The diet includes eggs and nestlings; they also scavenge at rubbish tips.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Aves de Chile

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