skua


skua
/skyooh"euh/, n.
1. Also called bonxie. any of several large brown gull-like predatory birds of the genus Catharacta, related to jaegers, esp. C. skua (great skua), of colder waters of both northern and southern seas.
2. Brit. jaeger (def. 1).
[1670-80; < Faeroese sku(g)vur; c. ON skufr tassel, tuft, also skua (in poetry), akin to SHOVE1]

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Species (Catharacta skua, family Stercorariidae) of predatory seabird, called great skua in Britain (where the jaegers are also called skua).

It is about 24 in. (60 cm) long. It resembles a heavily built gull, with brownish body and large white wing patches. It is the only bird that breeds in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. The agile, swift skuas force other birds to disgorge food; they nest near penguins, petrels, murres, and terns, stealing their eggs and young. They also eat lemmings and carrion.

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▪ bird group
      any of several predatory seabirds. In American usage, the name is restricted to Catharacta skua, called great skua in Britain; three smaller birds also known in Britain as skuas are called jaegers in the United States (see jaeger). All belong to the family Stercorariidae (order Charadriiformes).

      The great skua, or bonxie, is a bird about 60 cm (24 inches) long, resembling a gull but heavily built, with a brownish body and large, white wing patches. It is the only bird that breeds both in the Arctic and in the Antarctic. It nests from the Orkney Islands to Iceland and from the tip of South America to within 150 miles (240 km) of the South Pole (going nearer to the South Pole than any other creatures except humans). Although breeding populations occupy separated ranges and show colour differences, they apparently represent a single species. In the north, skuas breed only in the Atlantic (Scotland to Iceland) and are somewhat rusty in plumage. In the south, several forms occur, from pale reddish to dark brown in colour. Skuas go to sea in winter: southern birds drift northward, regularly crossing the Equator in the Pacific, and northern birds also reach the tropics.

      Agile and swift, skuas force other birds to disgorge food; they nest near such birds as penguins, petrels, and terns and steal their eggs and young. In the north they also eat lemmings and carrion.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Skua — Sku a, n. [Icel. sk?fr, sk?mr.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any jager gull; especially, the {Megalestris skua}; called also {boatswain}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • skua — skȕa ž <G mn skȗā> DEFINICIJA zool. veliki grabežljivi galeb iz roda Catharacta, obitava uz ledena područja sjevernih i južnih mora ETIMOLOGIJA skand. ← egz. (ferojski) skugvur …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • skua — [skyo͞o′ə] n. [ModL, adapted ( c. 1604) < Faroese skūgver < ON skūfr, tuft, sheaf (akin to SHOP)] 1. a large, brown and white, predatory shorebird (Catharacta skua, family Stercorariidae) found in cold seas 2. Brit. JAEGER (sense 2) …   English World dictionary

  • Skua — Skua, Art der Gattung Raubmeve …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • skua — ● skua nom masculin Oiseau (stercoraire) des îles Kerguelen, aux mœurs de rapace agressif …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Skua —   [färöisch] die, / s, Art der Raubmöwen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Skua — 〈f.; Gen.: , Pl.: s; Zool.〉 Raubmöwenart des Nordatlantiks [Etym.: färöisch] …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

  • Skua — die; , s <nach gleichbed. färöisch skūgvur> nordatlantische Raubmöwe (Zool.) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • skua — predatory gull, 1670s, from Faeroese skugvur, related to O.N. skufr seagull, tuft, tassel, and possibly to skauf fox s tail …   Etymology dictionary

  • skua — ► NOUN ▪ a large predatory seabird which pursues other birds to make them disgorge fish. ORIGIN Faroese …   English terms dictionary

  • Skua — Grand Labbe Grand labbe ou skua …   Wikipédia en Français