Long-Tailed Skua

Long-Tailed Skua

Scientific name: Stercorarius longicaudus

Did you know: The Long-Tailed Skua, with its exceptional tail streamers, can have almost 30 cm of its length just in its tail!

What Do Long-Tailed Skuas Look Like? (How to Identify Them)

The Long-Tailed Skua, the smallest skua species, is similar in size to a black-headed gull. It’s distinguished by its slim wings, sensitive tail streamers, and a graceful, greyish upper body contrasted with a dusky lower side and a palish breast. Notably, it sports a dark-coloured cap and bill.

Differences Between Male And Female Long-Tailed Skuas

Male and female Long-Tailed Skuas are similar in appearance, but juveniles are greyer with more pronounced stripe patterns, making them tricky to distinguish from young Arctic and Pomarine Skuas.

What Do Long-Tailed Skuas Eat?

Their diet includes small mammals and, while they are at sea, offal, small fish, and carrion.

Where Do Long-Tailed Skuas Live? (Including Migration Info)

Long-Tailed Skuas are passage migrants to the UK, breeding in the high Arctic. In winter, significant numbers migrate off the coasts of West Africa and South America (Brazil and Argentina).

Bird Calls & Songs (The Unique Voices of Long-Tailed Skuas)

Adult Long-Tailed Skuas have a distinctive call, often heard as they go over their breeding territories.

Fun Long-Tailed Skua Facts (Kid Friendly)

  • They can hover like helicopters over their breeding territories.
  • Long-Tailed Skuas are the smallest members of the skua family.
  • Their tails can make up almost half of their total body length.
  • These birds migrate impressively long distances, from the Arctic to South America and West Africa.
  • They are known for their agile flight and exceptional diving skills.

Facts About The Long-Tailed Skua

Diet: Small mammals and, when at sea, small fish, offal and carrion.
Bird Family: Skuas
Length: 41-46 cm
Wingspan: 105-117cm
Weight: 240-350g
Scientific Name: Stercorarius longicaudus

The Long-Tailed Skua Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • May
  • June
  • August
  • September
  • October

Long-Tailed Skua Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile