Definition of skua in English:

skua

Pronunciation /ˈskyo͞oə/ /ˈskjuə/

noun

  • A large brownish predatory seabird related to the gulls, pursuing other birds to make them disgorge fish they have caught.

    Family Stercorariidae: genera Catharacta (four larger species) and Stercorarius (three smaller species). See also and jaeger

    • ‘The abundance of gulls, terns, skuas, guillemots and puffins has long been a prime tourist attraction, as well as of global wildlife significance.’
    • ‘If you are visiting Ocean City, take a birdwatching trip on a charter boat to see shearwaters, skuas, Wilson's storm-petrels, and Atlantic puffins.’
    • ‘Votier says he's seen a skua catch a bird and hold it underwater to drown it.’
    • ‘In other parts of the world, jaegers are known as skuas.’
    • ‘Victims of egg-plundering skuas, which resemble large rapacious gulls, squawk indignantly.’
    • ‘A third of the world's arctic skuas, big fierce birds nicknamed Bonxies, nest on the great hills of the island.’
    • ‘Perhaps hobbies follow prey south to tropical Africa in the same manner that skuas follow terns.’
    • ‘The working theory is that tourists scare off the predatory skuas.’
    • ‘Only a few runts, chicks whose parents had perhaps fallen prey to a toothy leopard seal, are left behind to feed the skuas.’
    • ‘Set in Antarctica, it has no human characters but focuses on the natural environment of the frozen continent, especially penguins and skuas.’
    • ‘They concluded that reversed size dimorphism in skuas and jaegers was not attributable to breeding role specialization.’
    • ‘And then the slow decline would set in, and then little Foula would be abandoned to the squabbling skuas and the wheeling puffins.’
    • ‘A recent study found that a five per cent increase of birds in the skua diet would result in an annual loss of thousands of other seabirds.’
    • ‘One potential explanation - that choice of mates for female skuas at this colony is more limited - can probably be discounted.’
    • ‘Similar anomalous patterns have been discovered in the skuas (Stercorariidae).’
    • ‘Beautiful weather, magnificent scenery and almost tame Arctic skuas make this a memorable excursion.’
    • ‘One species bucked the general trend: the south polar skua, which hunts mainly penguin chicks and eggs.’
    • ‘We had a week of short walks, drawing, filming and photography with snow petrels and gawky looking skua birds as our neighbours.’
    • ‘The walk would be about seven kilometers as the skua flies from our base camp to the top of Gorgon's Head.’
    • ‘We were quite low on food, and our depot was about twelve kilometers away as the skua flies.’

Origin

Late 17th century modern Latin, from Faroese skúvur, from Old Norse skufr (apparently imitative).

Pronunciation

skua

/ˈskyo͞oə/ /ˈskjuə/