South Polar Skua

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The Antarktikskua ( Stercorarius maccormicki ) or Südpolarskua is called a species of bird in the family of skuas ( Stercorariidae ).


The 50-58 cm and 1-2 kg adult birds are dark brown on the belly, held head and neck light brown. The back feathers are black brown to black. The color of the beak and the legs of the bird is black.


The sounds of the birds remember a yelp or screech.


The Antarktikskuas live most of the year on the shores of the Arctic tundra. At the breeding season from December, they fly south to the Antarctic coast. This trip will take about five months.


The bird is a skilled hunter and captured in the sea crustaceans, cephalopods and fish. On land he preys on other breeding birds up to the size of a penguin and their brood. He hunts alone or in small groups.

Way of life

The couple live together in lifelong monogamy.


The breeding area is located on the Antarctic Peninsula and its offshore islands. The breeding takes place from October to December. They often breeds in the midst of penguin, petrel or gull colonies. The parent birds defend their large breeding territories fiercely against other conspecifics. The nest, which is built on the bare rock is lined with bones, feathers and plant remains. At hatching the two green -brown-spotted eggs, both partners take turns. After an incubation period 28-30 days the young hatch, while it often happens that only the stronger of the two young birds will fledge after about 20 days. The food of the juveniles did not differ from those of adult birds. After the breeding season, the parent birds migrate back to the Southern Ocean up to the equator. The parents then move on up to three years back out to sea, where the young birds go after five years on the high seas for the first time on land to breed themselves.

Threats and conservation measures

The IUCN classifies the Antarktikskua a threat as low ( Least concern ).