The Arctic Skua

"Avian Pirates"

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Classification Order

  • Kingdom- Animalia (Animal)
  • Phylum- Chordata (Chordates)
  • Subphylum- Vertebrata (Vertebrates)
  • Class- Aves (Birds)
  • Order- Charadriiformes (Shorebirds and Relatives)
  • Family- Stercorariidae (Skuas and Jaegers)
  • Genus- Stercorarius (Skuas)
  • Species- Stercorarius parasiticus (Arctic Skua)
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    Reproductive Information

  • Breeding Period
  • The Arctic Skua breeds once a year.

  • Breeding season
  • The Arctic Skua breeds from May to September.

  • Range eggs per season
  • 1 to 2

  • Range time to hatching
  • 25 to 28 days

  • Range fledging age
  • 25 to 30 days (post hatching)

  • The Arctic Skua Mate for life unless an death or divorce separates the two birds.
  • The Male and Female Skua's will protect their young fiercely often bringing in a third skua the help protect the egg

  • Habitat

    The Arctic Skua most commonly breeds/nests in the arctic tundra regions of the world. when not breeding this Bird is flying in the ocean. They are often found near rivers or near the coast.

    Endangered Status

    As of 2013 the Arctic Skua is considered as "Least Concern" by the IUCN Red List



    46.5 inches


    16 oz

    Egg Size

    2.3 by 1.7 inches

    Egg Weight

    1.7 oz

    Evolutionary Relationship

    The Arctic Skua is closely related to the:

    (Stercorarius Skua)- |Great Skua|

    (Stercorarius longicaudus)- |Long-Tailed Jaeger|

    (Eudyptes chysolophus)- |Macaroni Penguin|

    (Pygoscelis antarcticus)- |Chinstrap Penguin|


    The Arctic Skua's diet normally consists of Scavenged food from other birds hence the name "Avian Pirates. While the Skua is able to find food of his own he has adapted to pressure energy by stealing it from others. The main supplements to the Skua's diet of scavenged marine life are berries and nuts. The draw back to the Skua's habit of stealing meals from other birds is that many of the frequently terrorized birds attack the skua to prevent further theft.