To: John & Clare Kooistra <>,
Subject: jaegers
From: Nikolas Haass <>
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 13:17:51 -0800 (PST)
Hi John,

The combination "[large] white patches on the end of the wings", "very agile 
when chasing [terns], twisting and turning" makes them most likely Arctic 
Jaegers - this is of course not a definite ID as Jaegers are quite tricky, and 
in order to get a definite ID you need a combination of field marks. Were their 
targets really Little Terns?

(Long-tailed Jaegers show a similar flight style, but they show less white in 
the primaries; Poms are heavier birds; Skuas are even heavier than Poms; in a 
distance adult and juv. (all dark) Sooty Terns can look like Jaegers; also 
Providence and Kermadec Petrels...)



Nikolas Haass

Sydney, NSW

----- Original Message ----
From: John & Clare Kooistra <>
Sent: Mon, February 1, 2010 8:45:28 PM
Subject: jaegers

This afternoon I observed some probable Jaegers 
between Caloundra headland and Kings Beach, Sunshine Coast, Qld.
Not having observed these birds before and because of the distance I couldn't 
tell if they were
Arctic or Pomarine. I counted 4 birds and although they were a long way out, 
through the scope the most noticeable features were the white patches on the 
end of the wings
(brighter on one side than the other). All four were dark above.
3 were dark underneath and 1 had a white underbelly. I could not see any
elongated tail feathers.They were chasing and harrassing what looked like
Little Terns (they were about twice the size) and at one stage 2 birds were
working together.They would chase the terns down-wind towards Kings Beach
then fly just above the water back up-wind for 300 to 400 metres before 
the process.They were very agile when chasing, twisting and turning and easily 
keeping up with the terns.When heading back upwind their flight was rapid and 
Having perused three different field guides my guess is a Jaeger species.
Is there anything else they could have been?.
It would be worth keeping a lookout for them if any local birders are out and 
with the wild and woolly weather in these parts.
John Kooistra,

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