Brown skua

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Brown skua
Stercorarius antarcticus -Godthul, South Georgia, British Overseas Territories, UK -landing-8.jpg
At Godthul, South Georgia
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Stercorariidae
Genus: Stercorarius
Species: S. antarcticus
Binomial name
Stercorarius antarcticus
Brooke, 1978
Synonyms

Catharacta antarctica

The brown skua (Stercorarius antarcticus), also known as the Antarctic skua, Subantarctic skua, southern great skua, southern skua, or hākoakoa (Māori), is a large seabird that breeds in the subantarctic and Antarctic zones and moves further north when not breeding. Its taxonomy is highly complex and a matter of dispute, with some splitting it into two or three species: Falkland skua (S. antarcticus), Tristan skua (S. hamiltoni), and Subantarctic skua (S. lönnbergi). To further confuse, it hybridizes with both the South Polar and Chilean skuas, and the entire group have been considered subspecies of the great skua, a species otherwise restricted to the Northern Hemisphere.

It feeds on fish (often via kleptoparasitism), other birds, small mammals, eggs and carrion.

This is the heaviest species of skua and rivals the largest gulls as the heaviest species in the shorebird order although not in length or wingspan. It is 52–64 cm (20–25 in) in length, 126–160 cm (50–63 in) in wingspan and has a body mass of 1.2–2.13 kg (2.6–4.7 lb).[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Stercorarius antarcticus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ HBW 3 - Species accounts: Brown Skua (2011).
  3. ^ CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
  • Harrison, Peter (1996). Seabirds - an identification guide. Christopher Helm: A & C Black, London. ISBN 0-7136-3510-X. 
  • Heather, Barrie D; Robertson, Hugh A & Onley, Derek (2000). The field guide to the birds of New Zealand. Viking: Printing Press. ISBN 0-670-89370-6. 

External links[edit]