basic information

Arctic Skua

Stercorarius parasiticus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Короткохвостый поморник | Қысқақұйрық құрақтұмсық

Northern Caspian Sea
© Galina Kondratenko


Arctic Skua is Mew Gull sized bird. Has two color morphs. The adult birds of light morph have blackish-brown crown. Head-flanks and hind-neck are with elongated bristle-shaped pale-yellow feathers. Upper-head is dark-brownish. Throat, breast and belly are white; flanks and undertail are gray-brownish. Tail feathers are dark-brown; the central pair (elongated and pointed feathers) are grayish tinged. Dark morph birds are dark-brownish with yellowish cheeks; head, wings and tail are darker than rest parts. Bill and legs are blackish. Eyes are dark-brown. Young birds are brownish above with broad buffy edges of feathers. Underparts are with abrupt white, brownish and buffy strips. Bill is grey on base and black on tip. Legs are grayish-blue with partial black webs. Sizes: wing 290-395, tarsus 42-45, bill 25-37 mm. Weight: Tengiz, male 480 grams, Mangyshlak, female 498 grams.


Most observations of Arctic Skua were made on Caspian Sea and in western Kazakhstan. Single birds observed on Ural river in 60 km to east of Uralsk, on Chelkar lake, on Caspian Sea near Atyrau and on Mangyshlak, where recorded regularly. Occurs also in Naurzum Reserve, in lower reaches of Turgay river (4 July 1971), on Tengiz lake (17 June 1959; 27 July, 12 August and 1 September 1969), on Aral Sea and on Telekolskiye lakes (21 October 1982). Single birds observed even at Chokpak Pass in foothills of Western Tien Shan (1967, 1972), on the way to Arnasay lake (Uzbekistan), where obtained and recorded several times in 1978 and 1981.


Arctic Skua is rare passage migrant. Occurs on coasts Caspian Sea and Aral Sea and on large salty lakes. In spring records in April - May, the summer observations in June - July probably indicated to non-breeding birds. In autumn Arctic Skua recorded more often than in spring, in end of August - October.


"Птицы Казахстана" том 2. Алма-Ата, 1962. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.


other names

Parasitic Skua

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Анна Ясько: Окрас самочий, клюв однотонный, поэтому исключаем самок кряквы, серой утки, чирка-свистунка. За глазом виднеется темная полоса, хвост не длинный,


Анна Ясько: Наверное, мне следовало смотреть не на "морду лица", а на короткий хвост и довольно крепкие ноги (что более соответствует камышевке). Но почему-то


Олег Белялов: Я принял птицу за caligata просто посмотрев на пальцы. Она в английском Booted - обутая. Есть разница в цвете. Как-то в мае видимо 2000 я встречал таких

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