Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus
Occurs sparsely and irregularly in the seas around the island group, also as a breeding species at a few places in the fjord areas of west Spitsbergen. Adult birds are usually seen singly or in pairs at the breeding sites. Out at sea around the island group, younger birds (one and two years old) occur singly or in small groups. A minimum of 25 pairs breed.
Features: 35-41 cm (in addition central tail feathers of summer adult are 12-24 cm), 230-444 gram. ♂=♀, but the female is slightly larger. A somewhat smaller and slimmer body than that of the Arctic Skua. Adult birds are easily recognizable by their very long central tail feathers and dark rear underside. Calls at the nest site but is otherwise silent. The alarm call is a sharp and repeated «kyi» or disyllabic «kre-krepp». In display flight a «glii-e», the tone of which can remind one of that of a Common Gull.
Breeding: Has been proved to breed at only a handful of localities on west Spitsbergen. Most occurrences as a breeding bird in the Kongsfjord area. Lays 1-2 eggs in a hollow on the ground. Warns strongly and is very aggressive when disturbed at the breeding site.