South Polar Skua (species: Stercorarius maccormicki) in Monterey Bay, California (Gaia Guide)
Stercorarius maccormicki
South Polar Skua

©Samuel Blanc: South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki)

©Gerald Corsi and Buff Corsi: South Polar Skuas (Stercorarius maccormicki)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Stercorcariidae
Genus Stercorarius
Species Stercorarius maccormicki



Distinguishing features

Adult South Polar Skuas are greyish brown above, and have a whitish (pale morph) or straw-brown (intermediate morph) head and underparts, and the contrast between head and body makes it easy to separate from similar species with good views.

Juveniles and adult dark morphs are harder to distinguish from their relatives, and more subjective or difficult-to-observe criteria, such as the colder brown plumage and blue bill base, must be used. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 55 cm (Length of specimen)


  • From 125 cm to 135 cm - applies to Adults



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution: South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki)


The South Polar Skua eats mainly fish, which it often obtains by robbing gulls, terns and even gannets of their catches. It will also directly attack and kill other seabirds and their chicks. It also eats scraps and carrion. (Wikipedia)

Web resources