Long-Tailed Skua

Stercorarius longicaudus

Long-Tailed Skua

Long-Tailed Skua

Quick Facts


Scientific name:

Stercorarius longicaudus



Conservation status:




41cm to 46cm


105cm to 117cm


240g to 350g

About the Long-Tailed Skua

The long-tailed skua is the smallest member of the skua family we have here in the UK. It is medium-sized seabird roughly the same size of a black-headed gull. They have long streamers on their tails and slim wings. Upper parts are greyish, pale breasts and dusky lower parts. The head has a dark cap and bills are dark too.

The juveniles are tricky to identify, but they are greyer and more barred than the related Arctic and Pomarine skuas.

These birds breed in the high Arctic and are a passage migrant to the UK. In the winter, high numbers of birds spend their time off west African, Brazillian and Argentinian coasts.

What does a Long-Tailed Skua eat?

Their diets mainly consist of small mammals, but when at sea this can be small fish, carrion and offal.

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Other birds in the Skuas family

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