1155. Pomatorhine Skua.
Stercorarius pomatorhinus (Temm.), Man. d’Orn, p. 514 (1815) ; (Naum.), x. p. 487, Taf. 271 ; (Middend.), Sib. Reise, Zool. p. 240, Taf. 24, fig. 1 (egg) ; (Gould), B. of E. v. pl. 440 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 79 ; Newton, R.Z.S. 1861, pl. xxxix. fig. 3 (egg) ; Dresser, viii. p. 463, pl. 610 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 330 ; Saunders, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxv. p. 322 ; id. Manual, p. 689 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1061 ; Ridgway, p. 22 ; Lilford, vi. p. 74, pls. 32, 33 ; Boyce Hill, Ibis, 1900, p. 526, pl. xi. (eggs).
Labbe Pomarin, French ; Mandriao, Portug. ; Gabbiano nero, Ital. ; Mittlere-Raubmowe, German ; Middelste-Jager, Dutch ; Mid-delkjove, Dan. ; Bredhalet-Jo, Norweg. ; Bredstjertad Labb, Swed. ; Leveapyrstoinen-raiska, Finn. ; Pomornik-srednie, Fomka, Russ.
Male ad. (Faeroes). Crown, nape, sides of head, back, wings, and tail deep brown or blackish brown ; fore back slightly marked with white ; primaries with basal portion and shafts white ; middle tail-feathers elongated but blunt ; neck all round, chin, and under parts white, the first tinged with golden yellow ; a band across the breast and flanks marked and barred with dark brown ; under wing-coverts, axillaries, lower abdomen, crissum, and under tail-coverts dark brown, the three last slightly marked with white ; bill dark horn, bluish at the base ; legs and feet blackish ; iris brown. Culmen 1.8, wing 13.8, tail 8.75, the middle feathers 2.7 longer than the lateral ones, tarsus 2.0 inch. In adult birds the middle rectrices are much elongated and almost spatulate, having a curious twist in the shaft which brings the lower surface of the vanes towards the tip to meet in a vertical direction.
Hab. The high northern portions of the Old and New Worlds, in autumn and winter ranging to the British Islands, Scandinavia, and continental Europe south to the Mediter¬ranean, where it is comparatively rare, and on the West African coast south to 23° S. ; Northern Siberia, Kamchatka, and the Commander Islands, south in winter to Japan, Moulmein (once), and Cape York in Australia ; Northern North America, in winter south to New Jersey, the Great Lakes, and Callao Bay.
In habits this Skua does not appreciably differ from its allies, and feeds on fish, lemmings, and carrion, and also to a large extent plunders the smaller Gulls and Terns of their prey. Its cry is a short harsh crah. It was first found breeding on the Taimyr by von Middendorf in 1843, later in Greenland, and in 1897 on the Yenesei by Mr. Popham. The nest is a hollow in a drier spot in marshy ground, and the 2 eggs vary in ground-colour from stone-grey with a greenish tinge to brownish olivaceous, and are spotted and blotched, chiefly at the larger end, with pale greyish brown and blackish brown, measuring about 2.62 by 1.86.
1155. Stercorarius pomatorhinus
1155. Pomatorhine Skua.