New England Seabirds
The sighiting of any jaeger or skua can certainly add excitement to a pelagic trip or seawatch. Five species are possible in North America and the identification challenges endear them to veteran seabirders. They are often seen at sea associated with gulls to which they are closely related.
They qualify as seabirds because they spend most of their time at sea except during breeding. Most breed in loose colonies, show mate and site fidelity (except Pomarine Jaeger). Females are larger than males. They have strongly hooked claws like raptors and webbing between their toes like gulls. They make extensive use of kleptoparasitism and prey upon other seabirds on the breeding ground including the world's most popular seabird, the puffin. These bully tactics do not endear the skuas and jaegers to casual birders.
Members of the family Laridae which includes the gulls.
Birds that exhibit many different plumages are always an identification challenge. The skuas and jaegers show variation in plumage in three circumstances.
Skuas and Jaeger A Guide to Skuas and Jaegers of the World by Klaus Malling Olsen and Hans Larsson. (3)