long tailed skua
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
Family: Skuas – Stercorariidae
Appearance: Body similar in size to Black-headed Gull, though mature birds have very elongated central tail feathers. Juveniles have wedge-shaped tails. Beak relatively thick. Pale patch on wings only indistinct.
Size: Length 35–41 cm, wingspan 88–105 cm, weight 230–350 g.
Nest: In a depression on the ground in a dry part of a bog, by dwarf birch trees in marshlands, or on an open arctic fell.
Breeding: 1–3 eggs laid late May– early June, incubated by both parents for 23 days. Fledglings learn to fly within 21 days.
Distribution: Breeds in Finnish and Swedish Lapland. Finnish population estimated at between 100 and 2,000 pairs, varies greatly, due to the availability of lemmings as prey.
Migration: Probably by day. Timing of autumn migration unclear, but in poor years for lemmings may leave breeding areas as early as June or July. Sightings also possible as late as September–October. Returns in May after wintering in the mid-Atlantic and near the Brazilian coast.
Diet: Specialist predator mainly feeding on lemmings, but in years when lemmings are scarce will also feed on young birds, eggs and food scavenged on waste tips or in fishing harbours. May also feed on carrion, berries and insects. In winter practices a form of avian piracy, harassing terns and gulls, forcing them to drop their prey.
Calls: Series of shrill mewing similar to calls of Common Gull.
Long-tailed Skuas breed on arctic fells. They will fearlessly launch aggressive aerial attacks on anyone approaching their nests. They are smaller than the Arctic Skua, and similar in colouring to Arctic Skuas of the darker colour phase, though their caps are darker and more clearly defined against their yellowish cheeks. They have white chests with no dark band. Their middle tail feathers are greatly elongated into a narrow needle-shaped tip. Juveniles’ tail extensions are only minimal. Juveniles are darker than young Arctic Skuas, and have more patterning on their upper parts. Long-tailed Skuas have dark grey legs, their beaks are greenish brown at the base with black colouring nearer the tip, and they have dark brown irises.
Photo taken in Padjelanta National Park (Sweden)
tuslaw, dryas, Hotelcalifornia, Pitoncle has marked this note useful
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Ciao Nuri, great capture of lovely bird in nice pose, fine details, wonderful colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
- [2015-06-01 15:52]
A wonderful image of this beautiful long tailed skua. I like the way it's black cap runs diagonally from mid skull through the eye to the beginning of it's beak. Nicely focused and displaying good eye contact with a tad bit of catchlight. The colorful boulder makes an attractive perch while the blurred BG keeps us focused on the bird. Very informative notes. Well done!!
- [2015-06-01 16:05]
Hi Nuri,it turn the head in the right moment and way for the best position,an excellent capture of this skua from Sweden,a rare guest of the gallery of treknature taken in an very good way despite the difficult light.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
very nice picture of this bird
not so many on TN
good sharpness and nice details
thanks gr lou
Beautiful species and nice presentation. Just lack of catching light and so bird looks blind here!
Thanks for sharing,
Très belle attitude du sujet bien mis en valeur dans une belle lumière et sous une excellente profondeur de champ.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.