Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Parasitic Jaeger

The Parasitic Jaeger, sometimes refereed to as the Arctic or Parasitic Skua, is a seabird that spends half its time in Northern Europe and Asia, as well as in the high latitudes of North America. They breed during the summertime, and during the winter they migrate south to more tropical regions.

Parasitic Jaegers are named for one of their most common feeding behaviors-- they harass other seabirds and steal their food. The Jaegers will hunt their own kills as well, but theft is frequent and widespread.

It can be tough to identify these birds in the wild because they come in three different color morphs (dark, light, and intermediate) and because they look very similar to other seabird species that share their range. In general they are either dark colored above, with pale underparts, or are completely dark feathered all over.

Parasitic Jaegers have a very large population size (well over 1,000,000 birds) and a massive range. hey are not currently in any major conservation danger.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Eurasia, North America
Size : Body length around 18in (45cm), Wingspan up to 50in (1.3m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Charadriiformes
Family : Stercorariidae -- Genus : Stercorarius -- Species : S. parasiticus
Image :  Fish and Wildlife Service

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