Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus

  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Stercorariidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors needed...

This is the smallest of the three jaegers. It is also the one which has the longest of all central tail feathers. As in the Parasitic (Stercorarius parasiticus) the tail streamers are pointed, but in the Long-tailed they are long and flow and move with the air, unlike the shorter, stiffer streamers of the Parasitic. Furthermore as an adult this jaeger only exists as a pale morph, although juvenile and immature stages are more variable in coloration. It is an Arctic breeder and pelagic during the non breeding season. In the Arctic it takes dry and often rocky tundra, such that it is the only jaeger that is found breeding in Alpine Tundra which tends to be dry and rocky, yet it is also found in the lowlands as well. In the non-breeding season it heads farther south on average than the other two jaegers. It also is farther offshore, not only in winter, but during migration and finds areas of cold water to spend the boreal winter. It seems that edges of currents, or offshore underwater topography create the right habitat for this jaeger although it is little known during the offshore part of its life. Of the three jaegers, this is the one that is least likely to partake in kleptoparasitism. As such, it probably forages in an “honest” manner while in the winter quarters, but what it eats remains to be learned.

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© Gerrit Vyn

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Long-tailed Jaeger (Stercorarius longicaudus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/lotjae