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Australian Wildlife

  South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki)





South Polar Skua | Stercorarius maccormicki photo
South Polar Skua in Adélie Land

Image by Samuel Blanc / www.sblanc.com - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



SOUTH POLAR SKUA FACTS

Description
The South Polar Skua is a large seabird. Adult birds are greyish brown above, and have a whitish or pale brown head and underside. The lighter head and darker body distinguishes it from other similar species. Young birds are similar to adults with less contrast between head and body. It is also known as Catharacta maccormicki.

Other Names
MacCormick’s skua

Size
53 cm

Habitat
open ocean, Antarctic coast

Food
fish, birds, bird's eggs, mammals, carrion

Breeding
The nest is a shallow depression on the ground on rocky outcrops, cliff sides or valley floors. The female lays two eggs in November and December

Range
breeds on Antarctic coasts wintering at sea in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. It is a winter visitor to Australia

distribution map showing range of Stercorarius maccormicki in Australia

Map is from Atlas of Living Australia website at http://biocache.ala.org.au licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License




Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Laridae
Genus:Stercorarius
Species:maccormicki
Common Name:South Polar Skua

Relatives in same Genus
  Brown Skua (S. antarcticus)
  Long-tailed Jaeger (S. longicaudus)
  Arctic Jaeger (S. parasiticus)
  Pomarine Jaeger (S. pomarinus)