47. Where Skuas Soar

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There wiz a filey a fyow 'ear ago fin the skuas (Stercorarius parasiticus I think) were threatenin tae oust the herring gulls fae their breeding places on the cliffs alang the coast hereaboots. They get their mait by chasing ither birds till they throw up 'n then they ate the vomit. They hiv shorter tails than ither gows and they cruise aboot maist o the time lookin for a victim and then mak fest, hawk-like doon-dashes. So they're a queer mixtir o gracefulness and menace. Several years ago  skuas (Stercorarius parasiticus) were threatening to displace  herring gulls as main nesters on the local sea cliffs. Skuas feed by harassing other birds in flight and eating the disgorgements. They cruise looking for victims upon whom they swoop in hawk-like manner. They blend gracefulness with menace.

Nature - February 1994

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