The original incentive of this section was to assemble a collection of skua pictures to help resolve the identification of catharacta skuas seen off Senegal, some of which are undoubted South Polar Skuas. Since then, the collection has grown so that it may help to resolve other difficult skuas. We don’t yet know enough to be able to do that in many cases, and as a result, many of the identifications here must be regarded as tentative.
Large skua identification is difficult. These pictures are intended to stimulate discussion, to encourage folk to take photographs and to try to settle the identification of difficult skuas, including Senegal skuas, once and for all.
Over the last few years we have corresponded with many people who have given very useful opinions on the Senegal birds. We are very grateful to Robin Jolliffe, Killian Mullarney, Klaus Malling Olsen, David James, Ned Brinkley, Anthony McGeehan, Lee Evans, Stuart Bearhop and Steve Votier and, in addition, Bernie Zonfrillo, Don Roberson, Paul Harvey, Phil Hansbro, Mike Carter, Ian Montgomery, Dave Hatton, Frédéric Jiguet, Mike Tove, Martin Reid, Carole and Peter Leigh, Dave Walker and Martin Davies have allowed us to use their photographs - I hope we didn't forget anybody. Use their name as a search key to find their pictures.
We would welcome any opinions or further photographs to help fill in the gaps.
As there is some ambiguity in the terminology used to name large skuas, here are the meanings used in these web-pages:
Great Skua Catharacta skua
Brown Skua C. antarctica ssp.
Falkland Skua C. a. antarctica
Tristan Skua C. a. hamiltoni
Subantarctic Skua C. a. lonnbergi
Chilean Skua C. chilensis
South Polar Skua C. maccormicki