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Parasitic Jaeger

Jaegers are the seabirds which belong to Stercorarius genus, Stercorariidae family. Any of the three species of genus Stercorarius are called as jaeger. The three species of jaeger are as follows:

  • Pomarine Jaeger or Pomatorhine skua (Stercorarius pomarinus)
  • Parasitic Jaeger (S. parasiticus)
  • Long-tailed Jaeger (S. longicaudus)

Pomarine jaegers are the largest (50 cm long) amongst other jaegers, while the long-tailed jaeger (35 cm long) is the smallest. Parasitic jaeger is the intermediate one.

Jaegers lives in Arctic tundra and then moves to New Zealand and Australia. They are closely related with gull and tern. They look like a dark gull with forward-set black cap and central tail feathers projecting. They are known as Skuas in Great Britain.

Jaegers have powerful muscles, long pointed wings, strong hooked bills and sharp curved talons. They are tireless, who fly above the sea in a wide range. They get the names robber gull and sea hawk due to their habit of robbing the prey of other birds. While wandering above the sea, they hunt for fish on their own. But when nesting on the seashore they rob terns, kittiwakes and their relatives for the food. They harass and tease the birds until they drop their food. They also feed eggs (especially penguins) and young of other sea birds.

Jaegers appear in two color phases. One with all brown color and the other one which is very common is blackish brown above and white below.