The Long-tailed Skua , also known as the Long-tailed Jaeger. It is the smallest of the birds in the skua family at 38-58 cm (15-23 in), depending on season and age. However, much of this, up to 29 cm (11 in), is comprised by the tail which may include the 15 cm (5.9 in) tail streamers of the summer adult. The wingspan of this species ranges from 102 to 117 cm (40 to 46 in) and the body mass is 230-444 g. This species is unmistakable as an adult, with grey back, dark primary wing feathers without a white `flash`, black cap and very long tail.

Habitat and Distribution

This species breeds in the high Arctic of Eurasia and North America, with major populations in Russia, Alaska and Canada and smaller populations around the rest of the Arctic. It is a migrant, wintering in the south Atlantic and Pacific.


This bird feeds on fish (mainly caught from other seabirds), smaller birds, food scraps, small mammals, fruit and carrion. On migration, they catch their own food.


They nest on dry tundra or higher fells laying two spotted olive-brown eggs.