The Skua - A Unique Bird of Prey

I have never been able to go on a Antarctic trip so I have never seen a South Polar Skua. I was recently reading the book "Living on the Wind - Across the Hemisphere With Migratory Birds" by Scott Wiedensaul when I came across a reference to this bird. In this book Wiedensaul quotes Robert Cushman Murphy:

"Skuas have left, he said a more vivid impression in my memory than any other bird I have met. The skuas look and act like minature eagles. They fear nothing, never seek to avoid being conspicuous, and, by every token of behavior, they are lords of the far south. In effect, they are gulls that have turned hawks."


That descriptive statement "lords of the far south" caught my eye. As all good education does, it changed my perspective - I was not aware of the dominance of this bird in this ecosystem.


South Polar Skua (Stercorarius Maccormicki), Telephone Bay, Deception Island, Antarctica



South Polar Skua (Stercorarius Maccormicki), Telephone Bay, Deception Island, Antarctica Photographic Print

Pitamitz, Sergio


12 in. x 9 in.

Buy at AllPosters.com

Framed Mounted



South Polar Skua (Stercorarius Maccormicki), Telephone Bay, Deception Island, Antarctica




South Polar Skua (Stercorarius Maccormicki), Telephone Bay, Deception Island, Antarctica Photographic Print

Pitamitz, Sergio


12 in. x 9 in.

Buy at AllPosters.com

Framed Mounted




This seems like a memorable bird that would be interesting to see someday.



Sunrise Over Iceberg, Macrobertson Land, Mawson, Antarctica




Sunrise Over Iceberg, Macrobertson Land, Mawson, Antarctica Photographic Print

Dixon, Grant


24 in. x 18 in.

Buy at AllPosters.com

Framed   Mounted



For More Information:

Skuas - Antarctic Wildlife

Comments

  1. Skuas are incredible birds. I've seen a couple Greats on winter pelagics out of NC. When they fly they look so big-shouldered, like they're wearing football pads.

    I've also handled their skins in the bird lab where I volunteer. They have claws that are seriously psychopathic, like hawk talons. Really cool stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  2. q2
    I had an up close and personal experience with a skua in Antarctica. He actually tried to take my pole. pecked on my leg and circled over my head. He didn't leave me. I had to leave to return to the ship. The Naturalist said she had never seen one actually approach someone and didn't know what to do. I just took in the great experience being a bird lover. I'd be happy to share photos & video of the encounter.

    Email: IntTravelServ@gmail.com

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