South polar skuas breed in Antarctica and the South Shetland islands, but can be found found as far afield as Australia, Brazil and Japan.
Scientific name: Stercorarius maccormicki
The polar oases that are home to the most southerly bird colonies on the planet.
The south polar skuas' hunting strategy had never been filmed before - with good reason. The nesting sites of the petrel lie 300km inland from the edge of the ice, high up in the rarely visited nunataks. To reach them the crew flew in from Cape Town on a Norwegian Hercules, landing on a blue ice runway and wearing spiked soles just to get off the plane safely.
The following habitats are found across the South polar skua distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
The South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki) is a large seabird in the skua family Stercorariidae. An older name for the bird is MacCormick’s Skua, after explorer and naval surgeon Robert McCormick, who first collected the type specimen. This species and the other large southern hemisphere skuas, together with Great Skua, are sometimes placed in a separate genus Catharacta.
Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.