Great Skua Stercorarius skua
This species is relatively new to the fauna of Svalbard, where the first breeding record on Spitsbergen was made in 1976 and on Bjørnøya in 1970. Now the Great Skua is found scattered over the whole island group. In some areas it is more numerous, usually in the neighbourhood of large bird cliffs. It behaves as a typical bird of prey that lives on other seabirds. The breeding population is increasing and now numbers more than 600 pairs.
Features: 50-58 cm, 1,1-1,8 kg. ♂=♀. The young resemble the adults, but are more evenly coloured, lack the speckled pattern, often have less white in the wing patches and lack the slightly projecting central tail feathers. On the breeding grounds can often be heard a short coarse «gokk» that is repeated. Also gives loud calls during courtship and display flight.
Breeding: Nests on flat ground, often on moss-covered terrain out on islands or on flat ground not far from bird cliffs. Solitary breeding pairs seem to be more seldom than scattered gatherings, where several pairs nest in an area. Normally lays two brown eggs in a deep nest hollow of moss.