Catharacta antarctica   (Lesson,  1831) (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: pbase

Size: 63 cm.

Habits: Flight powerful and straight with steady shallow wingbeats, dashing when preying.

A broad-winged large skua with white patch at base of upper and underside of primaries. Plumage varies from light to bark brown. Adult: Larger and broader winged than South Polar Skua, upperparts and underparts warmer brown coloured, mantle and scapulars pale streaking and rufous brown. Juvenile: Generally more uniformly darker than adult, warmer brown on upper and underparts.

This marine species is found on or around subantarctic islands populated by burrow-nesting seabirds or penguins. It is highly predatory, feeding mainly on other birds but will also scavenge around fishing boats and ships and feed at sea.

Breeding Season: October and November. Birds are loosely colonial but highly territorial, nesting on grass, gravel or bare rock

Synonym (s)
Catharacta skua antarctica (Lesson, 1831)
Stercorarius antarcticus (Lesson, 1831)
Catharacta lonnbergi (Mathews, 1912)

Common Name (s)
• Brown Skua (English)
• Southern Skua (English)
• Subantarctic Skua (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  other birds but will also scavenge around fishing boats and ships and feed at sea.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Maharashtra, Ratnagiri INDIA (Record: 1957)

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Birds of India Available at -
  • Avibase- the world database Available at -
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at -
  • PBase Available at -

Page last updated on:2013-02-11

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