Parasitic Jaeger

The Parasitic Jaeger, also known as Arctic skua, is a seabird species that breeds in the Arctic tundra and spends winters at sea. This medium-sized bird has a length of about 18-22 inches (45-55 cm) and a wingspan of 47-53 inches (120-135 cm). Parasitic jaegers are known for their aggressive behavior, especially towards other seabirds, as they often chase them and steal their food.

One of the distinguishing field marks of the parasitic jaeger is its dark, forked tail, which distinguishes it from the long-tailed jaeger. The bird also has a dark brown to blackish hood and back, and a light-colored breast and underparts. Juveniles have a different plumage, with a lighter brown hood and more mottled upperparts.

Parasitic jaegers are long-distance migrants, and during the breeding season, they can be found in the Arctic tundra of North America and Eurasia. After the breeding season, they migrate south to the Southern Ocean, where they spend the winter feeding on fish and other seabirds. Some individuals can travel up to 10,000 miles (16,000 km) during migration, making them one of the most remarkable migratory birds in the world.

In terms of weight, parasitic jaegers are relatively light for their size, with males weighing around 10-14 ounces (280-400 grams), and females weighing 11-16 ounces (310-450 grams). Despite their relatively small size, parasitic jaegers are known for their aggressive behavior, as they are often seen harassing other seabirds, such as gulls and terns, to steal their food.

Overall, the parasitic jaeger is a remarkable bird with unique physical and behavioral characteristics. Its forked tail, dark hood, and aggressive behavior make it easily identifiable in the field, while its impressive migration patterns make it a fascinating species to study and observe

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