South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki) Profile

South Polar Skua

The South Polar Skua, scientific name Stercorarius maccormicki is a large sea bird in the Skua family, Stercorariidae. An old name of the bird is after MacCormick’s Skua, explorer, and naval surgeon Robert McCormick, who first collected specimens of the type.

This species and other larger southern hemisphere Skuas such as the Maha Skuas are sometimes placed in separate genera cataracts.


The South Polar Skua is a large bird (though sometimes smaller than the other skew placed in the cataracta) that measures approximately 53 centimeters (21 inches) in length.

Adults have gray-brown upper, and a white (pale morph) or straw-brown (intermediate morph) head and underparts, and the contrast between head and body make it easy to separate from the same species with good feedback.

Adolescent and adult dark morphs are harder to distinguish from their relatives and more subjective or criterion for observation, such as cold brown plumage and blue bill bases must be used.


This squash is relatively easy to distinguish from the Northern Hemisphere Arctic, Pomeranian, and long-legged skew. The large size of this bird, the huge barrel chest and the white wings are unique even to some extent. The aircraft is direct and powerful.

Identification of this SOuth Polar Skua is more complex if it is necessary to distinguish it from the great skua and other large southern hemisphere scouts that are closely related to the North Atlantic.

Identification problems claim to have a southern hemisphere skew problem in the eastern North Atlantic, and few records have been obtained for southern polar skew in southern Europe. Similar problems certainly occur with the exaggerated claims of the South Polar Skua.

South Polar Skua

Distribution and Accommodation

It breeds on Antarctic coasts, usually laying two eggs in November and December. It is a migratory, Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic ocean winter in the ocean. In the eastern North Atlantic, it has been replaced by the magnificent Skua.

The original geographical South Pole inhabitant is the South Polar Skua. Megalstris Hill on Pittman Island in Wilhelm Archipelago, Antarctica, is named after an obsolete generic name for the South Polar Skua.


Like other skewers, it flies under the head of a human or other intruder.


The South Polar Skua mainly eats fish, often obtained by snatching gulls, tornadoes and even their catches. It also eats other birds, rabbits, and carrion.

Like other Skua species, it continues this perpetual behavior throughout the year, showing less agility and more cruelty than the smaller Skuas (jaggers) when it harasses its victims.

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