July 3, 2015 – Long-tailed Jaeger or Long-tailed Skua (Stercorarius longicaudus)

Requested by: taylorrbranham

These jaegers are found around the Arctic and Antarctic circles and spend most of their time at least 10 miles (16 km) from land. Their diet when they are at sea is unknown, but probably includes fish, crustaceans, polychaete worms, and carrion. While on land they feed mostly on lemmings and voles, along with shrews, baby birds, insects, and berries when their usual prey is less plentiful. On the open ocean they are often alone and remain almost completely silent, but sometimes form small groups around food or ships. During the breeding season they move to land, nesting along coastlines and inland on isolated tundra. Males and females form long-lasting pair bonds before building a shallow nest. They depend on population cycles of lemmings and voles to breed, often returning to sea without nesting in years when these rodents are very scarce.