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PARASITIC JAEGER (Stercorarius parasiticus)

(NOTE: SEE message at the end of the photos re identification)

PHOTO OF PARASITIC JAEGER BY BOB RICHTER: (see below for photos of Charles Buhrman)

Huguenot Park, Jacksonville FL
29 June 2003
© Bob Richter


ALSO: 29 June 2003

© = Charles Buhrman

Message to FLORIDABIRDS-L from Barbara Passmore, Listowner:

On 6-29-03, Bob Richter and Charles Burhman both saw a jaeger at Huguenot Park, Jacksonville FL,
which they both identified as a Parasitic Jaeger. Both photographed the bird. Bob Richter sent one
photo to FLBIRDS and Charles sent his photos to another list. Later Charles Buhrman gave permission for
FLBIRDS also to put his photos up on its Members Photo page where Bob Richter's had already been posted.
People began to talk about the identification being that of a Pomerine and not a Parasitic and
since there is no known expert in Florida with experience on the identification of Parasitic Jaegers,
I wrote the list of FRONTIERS OF IDENTIFICATION (familiarly known as (ID-FRONTIERS or on 7-9-03 to get opinions from the world experts who participate
in that list. Great interest was shown and there was no shortage of opinions. It all was finally
put to rest, when Klaus Malling Olsen, of Denmark, put in the nail that sealed the coffin of this
mild tempest.

(Below is a list of the messages filed with ID-FRONTIERS. Also included are three messages
from me to the list and an additional one from me forwarding the message from Klaus Malling Olsen

Search Results: 24 matches. (One other is omitted because the post is to another matter.)

Item # Date Time Recs Subject

005852 03/07/09 17:16 23 Jaeger
005853 03/07/09 17:47 19 Jaeger - 6-29-03 - CLARIFIED DATE
005854 03/07/09 17:47 29 Re: Jaeger
005855 03/07/09 21:21 17 Jaeger in Florida
005856 03/07/09 20:29 34 Re: Jaeger in FL
005857 03/07/09 20:11 37 Re: Jaeger in FL
005858 03/07/09 22:19 61 that florida jaeger
005859 03/07/10 05:29 40 Re: Jaeger in FL
005860 03/07/10 10:04 30 Jaeger age & id.
005861 03/07/10 17:23 113 (no title)
005863 03/07/10 15:51 58 Jaeger in FL
005866 03/07/10 20:26 65 Re: Jaeger in FL
005867 03/07/10 17:46 41 Re: Jaeger in FL
005868 03/07/10 19:09 89 Re: Jaeger in FL
005869 03/07/10 20:01 38 FL jaeger
005870 03/07/11 10:29 133 RE : [BIRDWG01] Jaeger in FL
005871 03/07/11 10:49 121 Re: Jaeger in FL
005872 03/07/11 08:09 22 Re: Jaeger in FL
005875 03/07/11 13:53 59 Re: Jaeger in FL
005877 03/07/11 15:19 22 Re: Jaeger in FL
005878 03/07/12 10:25 29 Re: FL jaeger
005880 03/07/16 18:25 108 RE : [BIRDWG01] Jaeger in FL
005881 03/07/16 10:10 89 Re: RE : [BIRDWG01] Jaeger in FL
005905 03/07/20 20:35 59 Re: Jaeger in FL (from Klaus Malling Olsen)

If you desire to get copies of these messages, the archives of ID-FRONTIERS
are open to everyone, and you can get them by sending the following message



The message is:
GETPOST BIRDWG01 5852-5861 5863 5866-5872 5877-5878 5880-5881 5905

(Keep all on one line if possible; if not, repeat the first two words at the
beginning of the second line.)

The ornithologists who posted included Killian Mullarney of Ireland,
Pierre-André Crochet, also quoting Jacques Leclerc, of France, Peter Adriaens
of The Netherlands, Paul Larkin of the UK, and from the US, Alvaro Jaramillo (CA),
Phil Pickering (OR), Tony Leukering (CO), D. Heindel (Mitch Heindel) (CA), Todd
McGrath (CA),Peter Moulton (AZ), Martin Reid (TX), Julian Hough (CT), and Angus
Wilson (NYC) and it was concluded by Klaus Malling Olsen of Denmark.

With only one photo to go on albeit the nice one from Bob Richter, there was at first
a leaning toward Pomarine, but when more details became available when the photos
of Charles Buhrman were posted, the tide turned to Parasitic.

Finally, on 7/20/03 a message from Klaus Malling Olsen was posted
identifying, without qualification, the bird as a Parasitic Jaeger (called
Arctic Skua in some parts of the world). His message follows:

"The nice photos of the skua shows to my eyes a clear Arctic (Parasitic)
Jaeger. The bill is alone too slender for any Pom, and I do not think the
central tail feathers look broad and rounded, although a precise image is
hard to obtain. As correctly pointed out by Killian [Mullarney], the bird must be a 3
cal. year+ (the bill is still bicoloured, not the all dark of older birds),
but the legs have turned dark, whereas younger birds would have shown traces
of pale on the tarsus.
"The head pattern, including traces of pale blaze (although weak) and -
more important - hindneck streaks - should furthermore exclude Pom. The
pale-edged feathers on the fore-mantle look rather fresh, and are a normal
feature in winter plumaged birds (and often the first traces of winter
"A more precise ageing could have been done by checking the under
wing-coverts, which still would show extensive areas of barring in 3 cal.
year, but being all dark in adult (4. cal. years normally still shows some
barred - especially >greater - coverts).> Surely, size and structure are most
important in the field, but sometimes very tricky to judge from photos. But
Stercorarius parasiticus is what I see in this bird, not pomarines
(and definitely not longicaudus).

Consequently, the photographers, Bob Richter and Charles Burhman, were found to
be correct and the bird they saw and photographed is what they said it was.
The name "Parasitic Jaeger" remains on this page and in the archives of

SEE Members' page at:
Click on "Parasitic Jaeger."

Barbara Passmore
July 21, 2003