New England Seabirds

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 Seabirds | Jaegers Skua | Pomarine Jaeger  Search Help | Comments | Site Map

Pomarine Jaeger
Stercorarius pomarinus
Photographed by Steve Mirick on Cashes Ledge Aug 2000 and used with his permission. Photo remains the property of the photographer.

Other Names
Pomarine Skua (Europe)

How To See
On any pelagic in the New England 0 -2 jaegers may be seen from July - October. Some of these will be Parasitic and rarely Long-tailed Jaeger. Scan any group of gulls following a chummming fishing vessel for very dark birds.

Circumpolar in the arctic with the exception of area from Greenland to the Murman Peninsula of north Russia (3). The size of a pair's territory depends upon the population of food prey.

Unusual in this group in that it does not exhibit mate or site fidelity. This is probably because of its absolute dependence on Lemmings for food on the breeding grounds.

On the breeding grounds subsists almost entirely on Lemmings. Lemming populations in any one place fluctuate from year to year. There are always places with good Lemming populations, but a spot that is good one year may have very few the next year. This is probably the reason that Pomarine Jaegers do not nest in the same spot year after year and do not mate for life. Male Pomarine Jaegers wander the breeding territory searching for a spot with adequate Lemmings. Once they find one they establish a territory and look for a mate. Skuas and other jaeger species show site and mate fidelity. They cope with shortages of Lemmings by switching to other food items during lean years.

At sea feeds on small birds (Red-necked Phalaropes ), weak birds, scavanges, and uses kleptoparaisitism.
Another photo of the same Pomarine Jaeger taken by Steve Mirick on the 2000 Cashes Ledge trip. Notice the shape of the wings in this shot. Property of Steve Mirick. See his web site:
Same bird as above photographed by Emmalee Tarry
Great Skua | South Polar Skua | Pomarine Jaeger | Parasitic Jaeger | Long-tailed Jaeger