Pomarine Jaeger (species: Stercorarius pomarinus) in Fraser Island (Gaia Guide)
Stercorarius pomarinus
Pomarine Jaeger

©Bill Bouton: Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus)

©Muchaxo: Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Stercorcariidae
Genus Stercorarius
Species Stercorarius pomarinus
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

Identification of this skua is complicated by its similarities to Arctic Jaeger and the existence of three morphs. They are much bulkier, broader-winged and less falcon-like than Arctic Jaeger, but show the same wide range of plumage variation. The flight is more measured than that of the smaller species.

Light-morph adults have a brown back, mainly white underparts and dark primary wing feathers with a white "flash". The head and neck are yellowish-white with a black cap.

Dark morph adults are dark brown, while intermediate morph birds are dark with somewhat paler underparts, head and neck.

All morphs have the white wing flash, which appears as a diagnostic double flash on the underwing. In breeding adults of all morphs, the two central tail feathers are much longer than the others, spoon-shaped, and twisted from the horizontal.

Juveniles are even more problematic to identify, and are difficult to separate from Arctic Jaeger at a distance on plumage alone. (Wikipedia)


  • From 45 cm to 67 cm (Including the tail streamers) - applies to Adults


  • From 0.54 kg to 0.92 kg - applies to Adults


  • From 110 cm to 138 cm



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is a migrant, wintering at sea in the tropical oceans. (Wikipedia)


This bird feeds on small rodents, carrion, scraps, small birds and also robs gulls, terns and even gannets of their catches; it will also kill other smaller sea birds. Like most other skua species, it continues this piratical behaviour throughout the year, showing great agility as it harasses its victims. (Wikipedia)

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