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South Polar Skua - Stercorarius maccormicki

skuaCharacteristics
Range
Habitat
Diet
Life Cycle
Behavior

 Classification

 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Charadriiformes 
 Family: Laridae 
 Genus:  Stercorarius

South Polar Skua

ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern
    Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Stein Ø. Nilsen cc logo
  Characteristics
South Polar SkuaThe south polar skua is a stocky gull-like bird that is about 21 inches in length. It has a dull brownish-gray body with white patches on its outer wings. It has a thick neck; a short, broad tail; a thick, hooked, black bill and black legs. Males and females look alike.

  Range
The south polar skua breeds in Antarctica. Sometimes younger skua will migrate into the Atlantic and Pacific ocean areas of the Northern Hemisphere during the Southern Hemisphere's winter season.

  Habitat
South Polar SkuaExcept during breeding season, the south polar skua lives on the open ocean.

 
  Diet

South Polar SkuaThe south polar skua eats fish, krill, squid, carrion, crustaceans, mollusks, and the eggs and chicks of seabirds. It may also follow ships at sea and eat garbage that is thrown overboard.  The south polar skua is also a kleptoparasite. That means it steals food from other birds. South polar skuas will chase terns and other birds and tug on their wings and tails making them release their catch.

  Life Cycle
The female south polar skua lays one or two eggs in a depression in the ground, usually located in a sheltered area like a rocky outcropping or a cliffside. The eggs hatch in about 24-34 days. The south polar skua sometimes nests in colonies.

  Behavior

South Polar SkuaThe south polar skua sometimes chases and harasses other birds to force them to drop their catches. The south polar skua is featureed in the animated movie Happy Feet. Four south polar skuas harass the penguin Mumbles..


 



 


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