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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Great Skua

Hebrides bird sightings - Great Skua

Great Skua

(Bonxie)

Stercorarius skua

Photograph © Bob Medland
Shiant Islands - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
19th July, 2008

"We stayed on the Shiants for a week, ringing Puffins and others. ... we climbed up the cliff...it was quite a hairy climb at times but well worth it for the view. We went on over Garbh Eilean to ring Bonxie chicks and then down the northern slope of Airghean a' Bhàigh where the main Puffinery is and back along the boulder scree of Carnach Mhor...

This one still has down - and trying to pretend he's not there in the Juncus. The next bonxie chick picture shows how ugly they get within a week ..."

 

(See Bob's photos of the view from the top of the island, and his other photos of the Shiants in our Island pictures section)

 

Our Skua photographs :

Great skua
Great skua
Great Skua
Great skua
Great skua
Great Skua
Great Skua
Great Skua Chick
Great Skua Chick
Great Skua
Flight
Great Skua
Flight
Great Skua
Flight
Great Skua
Chick
still downy
Great Skua
Chick
1 week later
Arctic Skua
Pomarine Skua
             
             

 

  • Great Skua (Bonxie)
  • Stercorarius skua - Catharacta skua
  • UK: Passage visitor, migrant breeder
  • UK: 9600 pairs in Summer BTO
  • WI: Fairly common migrant breeder (100 - 999 breeding pairs), and passage visitor (small numbers)
  • Adults stout & dark, streaked grey-brown, black cap, juveniles warm-brown, unstreaked below, tail short & square-ended - blunt. Flight direct & powerful. ID from other skuas: Herring Gull size, barrel chest, white wing flashes
  • Breeds: Western Isles, North Scotland, Faeroes, Iceland, Norway
  • Winters: North Atlantic, North & South America, Spanish Coast, Africa
  • Habitat: Coastal moorland, rocky islands, Winter: seacoasts
  • Diet: Fish from sea, other seabirds (kill to size great black-backed gull), piracy (robs terns, gulls, gannets!)
  • Listen to Great Skua RSPB site
  • Similar birds Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua , Long-tailed Skua

 

Great Skua records in the Western Isles

Fairly common migrant breeder (100 - 999 breeding pairs), and passage visitor (small numbers)
(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Report)


On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the bird is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)

 

 

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section


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