Brown Skua
Catharacta antarctica
The Brown Skua (Catharacta antarctica) breeds in the southern oceans, almost circumpolar, in places like South Georgia, the Falklands, some areas of Antarctica, some areas of New Zealand and other islands. The taxonomy of these birds is still somewhat controversial. In addition, hybridization is quite common according to some researchers. For the purpose of this web site I'll call this Brown Skua, but it might be referred to as Antarctic Skua by some. This individual was displaying at Cooper Bay, South Georgia, on 27 January 1999 . The photo was taken with a Canon EOS 1N & EF 70-200 F2.8L lens with fill flash mounted on a tripod. The film was Fuji Sensia 100.
The yawning Brown Skua shown here was at Whalers Bay, Deception Island, Antarctica, in January, 1998. This image was taken with the same gear and film as the above shot.
Illustrating some plumage differences are the two Brown Skuas shown in the next two shots resting on the dark gravel at Gold Harbor, South Georgia, in January, 2003. These digital images were taken with a Canon EOS D60 and EF 70-200mm F/2.8 L IS lens.
The Brown Skua here is stalking by some King Penguins at Gold Harbor, South Georgia, in January, 2003. This image was taken with the same gear as the photos just before.
This image is rather difficult to look at, but illustrates well the behavior of a Brown Skua. An adult Chinstrap Penguin had been mortally injured, presumably by a Leopard Seal (a fairly common occurrence), but was able to get ashore. The penguin, greatly weakened, was able to stand but just barely. Within minutes several Brown Skuas showed up, waiting for the inevitable demise of the penguin. This image was taken in January, 2002, at Bailey Head, Antarctica, with a Canon EOS 1V and EF 70-200mm F/2.8 L IS lens on Fuji Velvia.