Pomarine Skua

Stercorarius pomarinus (Temminck, 1815) PK POMSK 5660
Family: Charadriiformes > Stercorariidae

Pomarine Skua, Yoav Perlman

Pomarine Skuas breed across the northern tundra regions of Russia, Alaska and Canada. The species is a passage visitor to Britain & Ireland, with more records during autumn passage (August to November) than spring (May).

Autumn passage sees birds passing down both sides of Britain & Ireland, with adult passage typically peaking earlier than that of juvenile birds. Spring passage tends to see most birds reported from off the south coast of Ireland and north-west Scotland.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Pomarine Skua

  • Breeding
  • Winter


Pomarine Skua identification is often difficult. The following article may help when identifying Pomarine Skua.

related video

Identifying Skuas

Identifying skuas passing offshore in late summer is one of the great challenges of bird ID. There are clues to help us, however, and - with practice - most individuals can be identified. This workshop will point you in the right direction and help you to focus on the features and markings that will be most helpful when seawatching.

Develop your bird ID skills with our training courses

Our interactive online courses are a great way to develop your bird identification skills, whether you're new to the hobby or a competent birder looking to hone your abilities.

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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.


We have no population estimates for this scarce species.


Pomarine Skuas mostly winter in the tropics and the records shown on the winter distribution map here mostly involve passage birds in November.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2



Spring passage of Pomarine Skuas is in April and May, followed by a long autumn passage season that can extend into late autumn and some birds may winter.

Weekly occurence of Pomarine Skua from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.


Lifecycle and body size information about Pomarine Skua, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.



Sample sizes are too small to report Biometrics for this species.

Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Gaelic: Fàsgadair-donn
Welsh: Sgiwen Frech
Catalan: paràsit cuaample
Czech: chaluha pomoranská
Danish: Mellemkjove
Dutch: Middelste Jager
Estonian: laisaba-änn
Finnish: leveäpyrstökihu
French: Labbe pomarin
German: Spatelraubmöwe
Hungarian: szélesfarkú halfarkas
Icelandic: Ískjói
Irish: Meirleach Pomairíneach
Italian: Stercorario mezzano
Latvian: videja klijkaija
Lithuanian: bukauodegis plešikas
Norwegian: Polarjo
Polish: wydrzyk teposterny
Portuguese: mandrião-pomarino / moleiro-do-árctico
Slovak: pomorník stredný
Slovenian: lopatasta govnacka
Spanish: Págalo pomarino
Swedish: bredstjärtad labb
Folkname: Pom

Links to more information from ConservationEvidence.com

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