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Stercorariidae – Skuas and Jaegers

Parasitic Jaeger in Svalbard: Photo by Christoph Moning

Welcome to our guides on Stercorariidae, a fascinating family of seabirds found across the world’s oceans. With about seven species, including skuas and jaegers, Stercorariidae are known for their robust build and aggressive behavior, often harassing other seabirds to steal their food. These birds play important roles in marine ecosystems, scavenging for carrion and preying on smaller birds and mammals. Explore our guides to learn more about these formidable predators of the open seas.

Overview of Stercorariidae

As their name suggests, Stercorariidae, commonly known as jaegers or skuas, are formidable hunters of the open sea. With strong hooked bills, they prey on other seabirds, stealing their eggs, chicks, or captured prey. Despite their piratical behavior, they exhibit remarkable parental care at their own nests, defending their young vigorously and providing them with a diet rich in smaller vertebrates. Female skuas and jaegers are typically larger, and some skuas form breeding associations where multiple males help raise the same brood alongside a single female.