Identification of Long-tailed Skua

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birds of Britain and Europe ID Guide | Skuas | Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus |  Identification of Long-tailed Skua

Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus L43-53 CM

Adult summer.
The smallest and lightest of the skuas approximately the size of a Black-headed gull Larus ridibundus.Pale (deep) chested which darkens towards the belly, although in the palest birds, this can be all white.Upperparts are distincly bi-coloured showing a narrow dark trailing edge to the inner wing, showing only two white primary shafts.Totally lacking the breast band of Arctic and Pomarine Skua.(some pale morph Arctic Skuas lack this band).Flight is much lighter than that of the Arctic Skua and glides more often than that species.Long tail streamers seperate it from the other smaller species.In strong or moderate winds, Long-tailed Skuas adopt a shearwater-like flight, gliding for several hundred metres.Will settle on the water more readily than the other species.

Flight Identification of the SkuasFlight Identification of the Skuas
showing four species of skua
click for a larger image...

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birds of Britain and Europe ID Guide | Skuas | Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus |  Identification of Long-tailed Skua

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