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Skua, Long-tailed

  


Name: Skua, Long-tailed

Scientific name: Stercorarius longicaudus

Type: Skua

Color: Black,Grey,White

Habitat: Coast,Ocean,Water

Size: 46cm




Conservation status:

Vagrant


Description:

Body size of Black-headed Gull but wing-span close to Arctic Skua. Resembles pale and rather grey Arctic but told by elongated, long, flexible central tail-feathers (16–24 cm), lack of breast band, white forebody, gradually darkening towards rear, smaller white primary-patch above, pale greyish upperparts contrasting with blackish secondaries and, largely, pale blue-grey legs. Juvenile variable like young Arctic but has colder greyer ground-colour (never rusty), more distinct barring on uppertail-coverts (except in darkest birds), thin white streak on leading primaries (hardly visible beyond 500 m, contrary to distinct white flash on most Arctics); central tail-feathers blunt-ended (pointed in young Arctic’s). Has relatively deeper chest and thinner rear-body. At rest shows more rounded head and shorter, proportionally thicker bill with black tip to half the length, unlike Arctic. Flight less steady, more buoyant and tern-like than Arctic’s; includes more circling and hovering; piratical attacks also more agile, chasing terns and small gulls more successfully.




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