Arctic Skua


The true pirate of the seas! These gull-like birds are notorious for stealing fish from other seabirds, such as puffins and terns. Arctic skuas -- also known as parasitic jaegers -- spend the majority of life at sea, returning ashore only to breed in the Arctic summer.


This medium-sized bird is approximately the same size as a common gull, but more streamlined. Its pointed wings -- pale at the tips -- enable the pirate-bird to fly low and fast above the waves. It has dark and light forms.