Subantarctic Skua | Catharacta antarctica

Robert's Sea Bird Information: Sub Antarctic Skua

The Subantarctic Skua is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Laridae bird family group which includes birds such as Typical Shrikes.

The description for the Subantarctic Skua (Latin name Catharacta antarctica) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Catharacta antarctica can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 310 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 431. You will find a picture of the Subantarctic Skua on page 416.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Subantarctic Skua between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Subantarctic Skua has a height of 66 cms and weighs around 1600 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured grey. The Catharacta antarctica has a brown coloured throat, black legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is grey.

Legs are black.

Throat is brown.

Back is brown.

Sub Antarctic Skua Feeding Habits ...

This birds forages for fish and other aquatic dwellers through surface sizing and diving for food in the water.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

The Catharacta antarctica attacks smaller birds in flight and uses its sharp claws to break the bird's neck. Some of the birds are attacked in their nests while others are killed on the ground. The Subantarctic Skua eats the eggs of its victim.

This bird is a well known scavenger and rarely kills its own prey.

Sub Antarctic Skua Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

You can see the Subantarctic Skua bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds.

The Subantarctic Skua is a very rare bird that can only be seen out at sea following fish vessels. It can be seen in the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Subantarctic Skua is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.