Stercorarius asiaticus

Stercorarius asiaticus, Hume.

977ter. :- Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 314.

THE SKUA.

Length, 19 ; expanse, 45 ; wing, 13 ; tail, 6.4; tarsus, 1.8 ;. bill from gape, 2.02.

Bill brown; cere pale greenish brown ; irides brown ; legs and feet dull black.

I extract the following from Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind: :-

" This is not uncommon off the Manora headland, and along the Sind and Mekran Coasts. There is some difference of opinion in regard to the identity of this bird. Mr. Hume, in Vol. I, p. 268 (Stray Feathers) refers it to L. parasiticus, but in his observations on the species states it may not improbably hereafter turn out that both his specimens and those of Major Tickell's belong to a distinct species intermediate between pomarinus and parasiticus, in which case he says it may stand as Stercorarius asiaticus, nobis. In Vol. V of the same journal he points out the differences between L. parasiticus and his Stercorarius asiaticus.

The following is the description of the species obtained by him at Pusnee on the Mekran Coast: :-

" The central tail feathers are manifestly imperfectly developed, one projects 0.75 and the other 0.25 beyond the rest of the tail; the bird is obviously in a state of change of plumage, as the two first primaries in each wing are old, and comparatively pale brown with conspicuous white shafts only tinged brownish for about 0.5 immediately above the tips, while all the other primaries are new and very dark brown, almost black, with only the basal half of the shafts white, and even that slightly tinged brown ; some of the secondaries, scapulars, coverts and feathers of the back are brown; the same dull pale umber as the first two primaries, and so are two of the tail feathers, while the whole of the rest of the wings and tail are of the same deep blackish brown as the third to the tenth primaries. What is noticeable is, that on the back and scapulars the paler brown feathers have no white tippings, which most probably have worn off, these feathers being the old ones, but all the dark feathers of these parts have narrow brownish white margins. The upper tail-coverts are conspicuously tipped with white, and the longer ones have two very broad slightly rufous or fulvous-white bars; the forehead, crown, and occiput are dull pale wood-brown, here and there faintly tinged rufescent; the feathers with pretty broad blackish brown central streaks ; the lores are greyish-white; the feathers narrowly dark centred; the cheeks, ear-coverts and nape are white, more or less tinged with fulvous or buffy, with very narrow dark brown shaft-stripes; the chin and throat white; the feathers of the base of the neck all round and the breast white, tinged in places fulvous, in places slightly rufescent, with a broad dark brown subterminal transverse band; the sides, flanks and lower tail-coverts are white, with broad brown transverse bars, which in some of the lower tail-coverts have a slight rufescent aureola; the abdomen and vent are white, but on the sides of the abdomen there are faint traces of barrings similar to those of the breast and flanks ; the axillaries are broadly barred, with somewhat greyish-brown and greyish-white; the tibial feathers pure brown."

BookTitle: 
Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Reference: 
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Stercorarius asiaticus
Spp Author: 
Hume.
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Year: 
1885
Page No: 
422
Common name: 
Skua
M_ID: 
4695
M_CN: 
Parasitic Jaeger
M_SN: 
Stercorarius parasiticus
id: 
12208

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