01 August 2011

bestiary: arctic skua

so if you're ever asked to describe an arctic skua in a word or two (i know i have), you can simply answer with: kleptoparasite; or, parasitic jaeger. jaeger is german for hunter. they do find their own food (eggs, small birds & mammals, fish) but their hunting methods are a bit different, i'd say. they spend a fair amount of time stealing food from others. they are pirates...of the avian variety. let's be clear though, they don't just, you know, sneak into the dens of other animals and yoink some food. no no. they team up during flight and body check their victims into dropping the food they caught and reap their rewards. they genuintely rob their victims. i always thought that if it occurs in nature it's a good model for whatever you're adapting that principle on...i guess i'll draw the line here. a bit of etymology: skua means seagull in old norse. stercorarius parasiticus in moleskine.

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