Name: Arctic Skua
Scientific name: Stercorarius parasiticus
Nature Stars: 80
About: A large seabird, about the size of a Common Gull with broad white 'flashes' on the underside of the wings. Adults have long central tail feathers. Arctic Skuas are pirates, chasing other seabirds such as puffins and terns and stealing the fish they have caught.
How to identify: The smaller skuas (Arctic Skua, the smaller Long-tailed Skua and the larger Pomarine Skua) are very similar and difficult to tell apart.
Where: Nests on moorlands on Scottish islands and in the far north of Scotland: seen around the coasts during spring and autumn migration.
Fantastic fact: Very variable in colour: adults come in two colour phases, pale birds which are dark above and creamy below, with a dark cap, and dark birds which are almost entirely dark slaty brown.
Photograph credit: Ómar Runólfsson