South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki)

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Stercorariidae IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult. dark morph | Sex: Unknown | Loc. West Coast of North America

Age: Adult, light morph | Sex: Unknown | Loc. West Coast of North America

Adult, lightform | Sex: Unknown | Loc. West Coast of North America

Age: Juvenile | Sex: Unknown | Loc. West Coast of North America

Identification & Behavior: ~52.5 cm (20.6 in). The South Polar Skua can be a dark gray (dark morph) or brownish tan with a dusky back (light morph). Juvenile birds are sooty. All age stages show white panels on the wings. It is structurally similar to the Chilean Skua but is distinguished by an overall dark coloration, blackish underwing coverts, and lack of rusty throat and black cap.

Status: The South Polar Skua is seemingly a rare Austral migrant in the pelagic waters of Peru. Its status is poorly understood, but it is generally recorded in far pelagic waters during the months of May through January. It also occurs in Ec, Br, and Ch.

Name in Spanish: Salteador del Polo Sur.

Sub-species: South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki), H. Saunders, 1893.

Meaning of Name: Stercorarius: L. Stercus, stercoris manure= manure, a reference to how the bird seeks its food by attacking other birds until they regurgitate. maccormicki: in honor of the naturalist, polar explorer and British naval surgeon, Robert McCormick (1800-1890).

See more of the Family Stercorariidae   peru aves

Distribution Map
south polar skuaVoice:
Generally silent at sea.


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 05/01/2015.