Long-tailed Jaeger

Stercorarius longicaudus




Skuas and Jaegers (Stercorariidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Brown to olive with dark brown and gray blotches.

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

23 - 25

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with grasses and moss.





Long-tailed Jaeger: Smallest but most buoyant and graceful jaeger or skua, with gray upperparts, white breast and gray belly. Black cap covers eyes, crosses chin and ends at yellow nape. Upperwings are dark edged. Tail is gray with black edges and long black streamers. Legs are blue-gray and toes are webbed. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is heavily barred and spotted gray; has white patches on underwings, white throat, white belly and dark-tipped gray bill. Dark juvenile is darker overall; has gray throat and lacks white belly.

Range and Habitat

Long-tailed Jaeger: Breeds in arctic regions from Alaska to Greenland and south to the northern Ungava Peninsula. Spends winters off the coasts of the southern states and South America. Nests on the Arctic tundra. Spends winters over open ocean, usually staying offshore, and very rarely found inland.

Breeding and Nesting

Long-tailed Jaegar: Breeding usually begins around June and lasts through August. Theses birds are socially monogamous and form long-term pair bonds. Two brown to olive eggs with dark brown and gray blotches are laid in a shallow ground depression lined with grass, moss and leaves. Incubation ranges from 23 to 25 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Long-tailed Jaeger: They feed heavily on lemmings and voles on their breeding grounds. They also eat fish, squid, insects, birds, bird eggs, berries, carrion and refuse. Sometimes they chase other birds to steal food. During the summer, non-breeders congregate around the edges of ponds or swamps, where arthropods are numerous. Nesting birds rely primarily on micro-tine rodents, when available.


Long-tailed Jaeger: In flight utters "phew-phew-phew." Calls include "kuep," "kreck," and "kliu." Long calls are shrills "kri kri-kri-kri kr-r-r-r kr-r-r-r-r."

Similar Species

Long-tailed Jaeger: Parasitic Jaeger has larger white patches on outer wings, gray breast band, and short, pointed central tail feathers.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area on top of the head of the bird.
The area of the face just below the bill.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X