Trivia question for Feb-17-2011
Well today’s trivia is courtesy from yours truly. Carter was supposed to write the trivia but he had a scheduled surgery earlier today. Everything went great and the folks at Scottish-Rite Hospital in Atlanta did an amazing job. Carter is back home, a little sore but recovering well. He should be good as new in a few days. So here is my attempt at the daily trivia:
This bird is recognized as the world’s most southerly bird: sightings have occurred even at the South Pole. At sea, these birds may chase smaller seabirds to force them to regurgitate or drop their prey. Some scientists believe decreases in their populations on some islands may be due to declines in burrowing petrel numbers (a key prey species) from predation by introduced cats.
In appearance, these birds look like immature gulls, although heavier, more robust and more menacing. They have conspicuous white patches at the base of their flying feathers, wedge-shaped tails, and a black, short heavy bill. Their flight is heavy, with relatively little gliding and much flapping.
So here are my question for you: What kind of bird is this and what is the term used to describe the tactic deployed by these birds to get smaller birds to spit-up or drop their prey?
Good Luck 😉
Congratulations to Gina for being the first with the correct answer. The killer bird we featured is known as a Skua. Skuas are closely related to members of the gull family. In North America the coastal skuas are known as jaegers. Two species of skuas are found in the southern oceans: the Antarctic or the Brown, and the South Polar. The tactic they use to steal food from other birds is called “Kleptoparasitism” (a bird, insect, or other animal that habitually robs animals of other species of food).
During the summer South Polar skuas stake territories near Adélie penguin rookeries on the coast, raiding them for eggs, chicks, and also cleaning up carrion. Thus, they have earned the nickname, ‘raptor of the south’. They may scavenge and predate upon other seabirds and their young and eggs, or they may roam the southern oceans feeding on fish, molluscs, squid, and crustaceans (mainly krill & copepods). Here is more on these fierce predators: Skua
Thanks for playing along 😉