; class Aves, order Charadriiformes)
A family of medium to large, dark brown sea-birds, some colour phases of which have white under-parts. Skuas have long, pointed wings, long to medium-length tails, and Stercorarius species have elongated central tail feathers. Their bills are medium length, strong, and hooked, their legs short, with webbed feet. They are pelagic, occurring near coasts and breeding on islands or on inland tundra. They feed on mammals, insects, eggs, fish, and carrion, often obtained by chasing and robbing other birds. They nest on the ground. There are two genera, with six or seven species, found world-wide, breeding in northern areas of Europe, Asia, and N. America, and southern S. America and sub-Antarctic islands.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.