Skuas will chase other birds until they give up their catch
Skua Scientific Classification
Skua Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, White
one million
up to 35 years
Top speed
50 mph
0.68 to 3.6 pounds
Skua Distribition

The skuas feed by taking various other sea birds’ food.

The skua is a leading bird killer with a credibility for being a bird bully. These birds are lengthy- range travelers that invest their winters months in warmer waters prior to heading to the Arctic to reproduce. They live along the shoreline of every continent and invest their days taking food from birds’ mouths and nests and “dive- battle” burglars. Discover all there is to find out about this challenging team of birds, consisting of where you can discover them, just how they eat, and just how they safeguard their nests.

5 Incredible Skua Truths

  • Skuas are located on the sea shores of all continents. They are lengthy- range travelers, and some species might also check out the South Post.
  • These birds are tough predators, commonly classified as harasses as a result of their propensity to swipe.
  • They assault burglars by “dive- battle” and sinking their sharp claws right into their heads.
  • Skuas will certainly chase after various other birds up until they quit their catch or disgorge the food they have actually consumed.
  • Throughout the nesting period, skuas will certainly victimize various other sea birds’ nests.

Where to Locate Skuas

Skuas live along sea shores of every continent, some also getting to the South Post. 4 skua species (southern polar, pomarine, parasitical, and long- trailed) type on the Arctic shoreline, after that head to warmer waters, like the Southern Sea, to invest winters months. The brownish skua commonly remains in the Southern Sea, while the excellent skua remains in the North to Northeast Atlantic. The Chilean skua types on the southerly coastline of Chile and Argentina and winters months on the Pacific Shore of Peru and Chile. Search for them overhead or seaside moors, scavenging for food.


These birds are located along the sea shores of all continents.

Skua Nest

Both sexes assist in developing the nest, which is a round stack of lawns and various other plant product. They position it on the ground in a treeless open location with reduced plant life, commonly near nests of various other sea birds.

Scientific Name

The skuas are a team of 7 species that create the Stercorarius genus, the only genus in the Stercorariidae family. Most of the species are called jaegers in North American English. Words “skua” is North Germanic for the island of Skúvoy (Central Faroe Islands), which had a nest of excellent skua birds. And “jaeger” is German for “seeker.”

The skua genus consists of 7 species:

  • Chilean skua
  • South polar skua
  • Brownish skua
  • Excellent skua
  • Pomarine jaeger
  • Parasitical jaeger
  • Lengthy- trailed jaeger

Dimension, Appearance, and Habits

Skuas are tool to big birds, with an ordinary size of 22 inches and a 48- inch wingspan. Their weight varies from 0.68 extra pounds (lengthy- trailed skua) to 3.6 extra pounds (brownish skua). A lot of have lengthy expenses with addicted pointers, webbed feet, sharp claws, and brownish or grey tinting with white markings on their wings.

These birds have a hostile nature and routinely assault burglars, swipe food, and rob the nests of various other birds. They are commonly singular outside the reproducing period however might create tiny teams to victimize various other birds’ nests. They are additionally strong and acrobatic fliers and have a range of articulations. Skuas can rise to 50 miles per hour.

Skua South polar in Antarctica
A lot of skuas have actually webbed feet and sharp claws. This is a South Polar skua.

Sergey 402/Shutterstock. com

Movement Pattern and Timing

Skuas are lengthy- range travelers. Yet where they move relies on the species. The excellent skua invests summer seasons in Iceland and Norway and winters months mixed-up in the Atlantic Sea, occasionally getting to The United States and Canada. The brownish skua types in the below- Antarctic and Antarctic areas however relocations even more north outside the reproducing period. Numerous species are trans- equatorial travelers, indicating they go across the opposite side of the equator.


Skuas are tough predators that take what they desire. Kleptoparasitism consists of 95% of their feeding approaches throughout the wintertime.

What Does the Skua Eat?

Skuas are predators that eat fish, carrion, birds, eggs, chicks, and a lot more. Throughout reproducing, they eat fish and carrion, which they draw from various other seabirds and gulls. They might periodically eliminate and eat grown-up birds like gulls, puffins, and herons. Throughout the reproducing period, the north species count on tiny rodents, and the southerly skuas mainly capture fish near their premises. A lot of species eat eggs and chicks of various other sea birds throughout the nesting duration. These bird harasses will certainly also reach taking milk straight from an elephant seal’s teat. They will certainly commonly chase after various other birds up until they quit their catch, also requiring them to disgorge food they have actually consumed.

Predators, Dangers, and Conservation Status

The IUCN details all skua species as LC or “least concern.” As a result of their considerable array and big population, they do not get approved for “intimidated” condition. Nevertheless, some species, like the brownish skua, have actually had a population decrease in recent times. These birds are vulnerable to nest predation, kleptoparasitism (food burglary), and competitors for victim.

What Consumes the Skua?

While skuas are just one of the leading bird predators in their atmospheres, they can still be vulnerable to predation (particularly their young). The skua’s leading killer is the arctic fox, which suches as to take their eggs and young from the nest. To safeguard their reproducing premises, they increasingly assault burglars by “dive- battle” and choosing their heads.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Reproducing period differs by species. South Polar skuas type from November to February, while lengthy- trailed skuas start in June. A lot of type in seaside moors, expanse, or verdant islands and nest on the open ground. Females lay one to 2 eggs and breed them anywhere from 23 to one month, depending upon the skua. The females have a tendency the nest alone, however males will certainly bring her food. Recentlies established leave the nest anywhere from 24 to 55 days after hatching out. Skuas get to sex-related maturation anywhere from 2 to 8 years. They can measure up to 35 years in the wild.


The worldwide skua population is more than one million fully grown people. All skua species have secure numbers, with the exception of the brownish skua, which has actually undertaken a 47% decrease in the last 5 years. None of the species are experiencing any kind of severe changes or fragmentations.

Up Following:

  • Seagull
  • Albatross Vs. Seagull: What Are the Secret Distinctions?
  • Roaming Albatross



  1. IUCN Red List, Available here:
  2. Birds of Seabrook, Available here:
  3. Wubr’s the Wildlife, Available here:

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