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The long-tailed skua

A seabird of the Arctic

The skua has black head and beak whilst the neck, the chest and the nape are white. The back and the wings are grey and the tail is black.

I saw the skua for the first time at the second camp. There were many of them there and I soon found out why. The variety we saw is called long-tailed skua (Stercorarius longicaudus) because of its long black wings.

In contrast to the Arctic tern the skua is a shy bird. You can even get close to it. At the camp it was often on the beach. Sometimes you could spot it perching on the top of the hill close to women’s toilet.

I could easily photograph it and get as close as half a metre. It looked at me to check my intentions which allowed me to take some pictures of it looking for food in the sand close to water.

This was the reason the bird often came to our camp: food leftovers which were promptly eaten. This bird was crazy about our pasta.

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