Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several large predatory seabirds of the genus Stercorarius, especially the great skua.
  • noun Chiefly British Any of several of the smaller seabirds of the genus Stercorarius.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A gull-like predatory bird of the family Laridæ and subfamily Stercorariinæ or Lestridinæ, especially Stercorarius or Megalestris catarractes, or M. skua, the species originally called by this name, which has since been extended to the several others of the same subfamily.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any jager gull; especially, the Megalestris skua; -- called also boatswain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of various predatory seabirds of the family Stercorariidae that often chase other seabirds to steal their catches.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun gull-like jaeger of northern seas

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin, alteration of Faroese *skūvur, from Old Norse skūfr, tassel, seagull.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Faroese skúgvur ("Great Skua"), from Old Norse skúfr.

Examples

  • The skua is only too happy to tell Mumble about his abduction by aliens, while the other birds groan and lament the retelling of a tale they’ve apparently heard too much about.

    Happy Feet *tap tap tap* « Love | Peace | Ohana

  • And further, past the valley, over the foothills, the crowds of Emperor penguins, the flocks of skua overhead, and the elephant seals sunning themselves on the rocky shore.

    Blog Fiction | Sci-Fi | Sea Dragon | Station151

  • Then, in one small part of the angry sea, there was panic as a great skua appeared and harried one young gannet until it dropped to the sea and dived.

    Country diary: Burghead, Scotland

  • First, such reductions are likely to happen most rapidly in species that experience some physiological constraint at their southern range margin, for example, the winter thermal constraint postulated for cloudberry [23] or the summer thermal constraints postulated for the great skua (Catharacta skua [24]).

    Recent and projected changes in arctic species distributions and potential ranges

  • American sheathbill (Chionis alba); south polar skua (Catharacta maccormicki); brown skua (Catharacta lonnbergi); southern black-backed gull (Larus dominicanus); and,

    Antarctic Peninsula

  • The skua gulls settled very near us, and the dogs, no doubt taking them for baby seals, were of course ready to break the line of march, and go off hunting, but their keenness soon passed when they discovered that the game had wings.

    The South Pole~ The Eastern Sledge Journey

  • An hour after breaking camp this morning two snowy petrels came sailing over us; a little while later a couple of skua gulls.

    The South Pole~ The Eastern Sledge Journey

  • As we were leaving this old friend and setting our course as it advised, to our unspeakable astonishment two great birds -- skua gulls -- suddenly came flying straight towards us.

    The South Pole~ The Return to Framheim

  • On Christmas Day we took a holiday, and Lindström prepared a banquet of skua gulls.

    The South Pole~ The Eastern Sledge Journey

  • South Georgia supports a great number of sea birds, including penguin, a large colony of petrel and prions of various other species, along with shags, skua, gull, terns, South Georgia Pipits and Seals.

    South Georgia

Comments

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  • Any of several Arctic and Boreal sea birds of the genus Stercorarius that harass smaller birds and snatch the food they drop.

    June 30, 2015