Great/Brown Skua's

Heres a bit of information about the Great/Brown Skua. This is a bird I had never seen before visiting South Africa, and getting pretty close to the Arctic. Below are a few photos that were shot off the coast of South Africa, near shark alley in 2013.

Length: 53–58cm.

Wingspan: 125–140cm.

Weight: 1.2–1.8kg.

Coloration: Dark brown overall with paler, often golden streaks, especially on the nape; bright white ‘flashes’ above and below the wings. Sexes similar; juvenile darker.

Diet: Mostly fish, either stolen from other birds or collected from the sea; also smaller gulls, waders and auks, and their eggs and chicks; baby rabbits; and carrion.

Breeding: Pairs for life and nests singly or in widely spaced colonies. Nest is a shallow scrape lined with grass. In May lays two eggs, incubated for 29–30 days; chicks fed by both parents until they fledge at about 44 days old.

Habitat: Breeds on damp moors and sandy lava plains close to the coast; often travels far from land during non-breeding season, foraging over open ocean.

Status: Uncommon; world population estimated to be 48,000 breeding pairs.

Lifespan: Usually 15 years; oldest known individual lived for 32 years.

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November 14, 2014


Thanks, Bennymarty. Your animal collection is pretty incredible!

November 13, 2014


very good!!

November 13, 2014


Thanks, Lenutaidi!

November 13, 2014


Wow! Beautiful images! Thank you for sharing!

November 12, 2014


Always Lela, It is about 2-3 times the size of a seagull and really is amazing in person!

November 12, 2014


Oh my goodness! What a beautiful bird! This is the first time that I ever laid eyes on one! Thank you so much for sharing!

November 11, 2014


Thank You Leowes!

November 11, 2014


Thanks for the pics and thanks for your service!

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Photo credits: Geoffrey Green.