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Skua, Great
Bird Info
Bird Info
Conservation status
Scientific Name:
Catharacta skua
Africa, Albania, Asia, Atlantic Islands, Australasia, Austria, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, British Isles, Bulgaria, Canada, Caribbean, Central America and Caribbean, Central America excluding Mexico, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Delaware, Denmark, Dominica, Eastern Europe excluding Russia, England, Estonia, Europe, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Global Read more
Related Reading
The breeding population, which is confined to Europe, is estimated to number 16,000-16,000 breeding pairs, equating to 48,000-48,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). ...
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This is a large skua, measuring 50–58 cm (20–23 in) long with a 125–140 cm (49–55 in) wingspan. The adult is streaked greyish brown, with a black cap, while the juvenile is a warmer brown and unstreaked below. Its tail is short and blunt. The flight is direct and powerful. The Brown Skua's call is a harsh hah-hah-hah-hah; quacking and croaking noises have also been heard. Distinguishing this skua from the other North Atlantic skuas (Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Long-tailed Skua) is relatively straightforward. The Herring Gull size, massive barrel chest and white wing flashes of this bird are distinctive even at a distance. It is sometimes said to give the impression of a Common Buzzard (which in America would be called a hawk). Identification of this skua is only complicated when it is necessary to distinguish it from the closely related large southern-hemisphere skuas. Some authorities still regard the Great Skua as conspecific with some of these southern skuas, and as a group they have sometimes been separated in the genus Catharacta, although currently this is not commonly followed. ...
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