(Note: This is Stercorarius parasiticus and is known [or has been known] in
other parts of the world as Arctic Skua, Parasitic Skua, Jeager, Sea Hawk,
In response to my posting about a sighting of what I considered to be
probably a Arctic Jeager
Mike Carter wrote:
"Not the best angle I'm afraid but because the bill looks fairly substantial
and because the bird lacks a white blaze, I'd favour Pomarine Jaeger. Do you
have shots from other angles, particularly showing bill and head in
Thanks for your input, Mike. As I said, I am not an expert on seabird
identification and I appreciate any suggestions on diagnostic features.
Your request for more images is fair and reasonable.
I have added two more images to my Flickr account.
Go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ptiloris463
The images are now in a "Set" titled "Jaegers" and can be viewed by clicking
on the "Jaeger" set or on one of the jeager images on the entry page.
I have allowed for viewing of the images in "original uploaded" size. To do
that click on an image to view it in "standard" viewing size; then click on
the "all sizes" button at the top-left-hand corner of the image.
Return to the photos page by clicking on the "Back to Flickr photo page"
link at top-left of page.
(Note: The Flickr website is not the easiest of sites to negotiate and don't
be too hard on yourself if you lose your way while trying to view these
images. I consider myself to be fairly computer literate and experienced but
I still find sites like Flickr extremely frustrating.)
Please be respectful of my ownership of these images and, if you download
them, use them only for personal education and not for commercial purposes.
Mike's comment on the lack of a white blaze is interesting. During my
observation of this bird and my subsequent inspection of the images I had
perceived what I considered to be the white blaze which I understand to be a
key identification feature separating Arctic Jaeger from Pomarine Jaeger.
I also understand that the extent of this white blaze is open to conjecture.
All I can say is that my photographic references* on seabirds mostly show
very little white on the frons for the Arctic Jaeger.
It is interesting to me that this feature is not mentioned (as far as I can
tell) or illustrated in any of the field guides.
Good examples of photos showing the white blaze can be found in the
"Shorebirds" (!) volume of the National Photographic Index of Australian
* My references:
- The "Shorebirds" volume of the National Photographic Index of Australian
- Seabirds of the World , Enticott and Tipling;
- HANZAB Vol 3;
- Seabirds, Harrison;
- Seabirds of the World, A Photographic Guide, Harrison;
- The Australian field Guides;
- other lesser value books.
Why did I show "that" image and that image only?
The simple answer is 'I liked it and it was one of the better quality images
I obtained during that little episode'.
I feel it is appropriate at this point in time to explain to the some of the
less erudite and less worldly members of this forum some of the facts of
life as I see them.
For me, birdwatching is not the be-all and end-all of things worth doing. In
fact 'watching grass grow' often appears to me to be a far more fulfilling
As for associating with birdwatchers............I better not go into that!
Birdwatching simply helps me to fill in that boring and totally unnecessary
period of time between the only two significant events that I will be
involve with in this life.
The birding activity which does interest me is photography.
When I go to where the birds are I go there in the hope that I can get some
high quality photos, especially of something I haven't photographed before.
I take these photos for my own enjoyment. I don't care if other people take
better or more photos of the same or different birds. I am not in a
competition and I don't care if no one else is interested in my photos.
I live near Godwin Beach and went there the other day to see if there might
be some birds to photograph.
The weather was somewhat 'wild' and the prospects of something having been
blown in were good.
As it turned out the prospects were better than I had imagined.
Having taken some photos of the Jaeger and also having determined to a high
degree of accuracy that all of the yellow legs I was seeing amongst the
groups of waders belonged to either Terek Sandpipers or Grey-tailed Tattlers
I decided to stop playing in the rain and go home to view my efforts.
As is always the case, some of my photos were good to very good (considering
the conditions) and some resembled that which is emitted from a certain
The flight shot in the Jaeger Set in my Flickr account belongs in the latter
If I do show my photos publically I prefer to only show those of high
However, in the interest of better birding I have relented and complied with
Mike Carter's very reasonable request for more photos showing more
diagnostic features even if it does reveal my sadly lacking photographic
I contemplated the worth of reporting my sighting of the Arctic Jaeger as
this bird was probably only in this location because of the particular
weather conditions and would quickly leave when fine conditions returned. I
did not want to be responsible for hordes of jaeger-disadvantaged twitchers
descending on Godwin Beach long after the bird had 'gone home' and thus
being responsible for the totally irresponsible consumption of at least half
of the remaining natural resources of this planet on a totally meaningless
exercise which would have absolutely no benefit to mankind or any other
Then I thought "What the heck; that other person who has not yet seen an
Arctic Jaeger (I have been assured that almost everyone else has already
seen plenty of examples of this species) might find it interesting".
A note to those BARC-ophobes: This is not a rare bird and does not require
the submission of a Rarities Report.
Now it is time to go back to watching Australia playing India in the second
That should show everyone where I place birdwatching in my list of
Then again, I might watch the Hopman's Cup tennis.
Sweaty females...............mmmmmmmmm.......now that is interesting!!
near Godwin Beach
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on this topic.
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