- ORDER: Charadriiformes
- FAMILY: Stercorariidae
Parasitic Jaegers, known as arctic skuas in Europe, are fast-flying relatives of gulls with a piratical lifestyle. They breed on the Arctic tundra, where they prey mainly on birds and their eggs. They spend the rest of the year on the open ocean, harrying other seabirds and sometimes attacking in groups, until they give up their catch. Jaegers come in several color morphs. Immatures can be extremely difficult to separate from other jaeger species.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Jaegers breed in the high Arctic, so for most people migration and winter are the best times to look for them. Parasitic Jaegers are the most likely of the three jaeger species to be seen from shore. They chase gulls and terns as they forage over tidal waters and turbulent patches where currents meet. Look for a powerfully built, sharp-winged and fast-flying bird among all the silvery wings. These birds can get into truly spectacular chases, so if you spot a gull or tern flying in a twisting path or straight up into the air, look for a Parasitic Jaeger behind it.
- Págalo Parásito (Spanish)
- Labbe parasite (French)
- Cool Facts
- This bird is parasitic, but that doesn't mean it sucks anyone's blood. These birds are "kleptoparasites," a term used to describe animals that steal their food from other animals. It comes from the same root as "kleptomaniac," meaning someone who steals compulsively.