Central tail-feathers projecting three inches; of equal breadth throughout; rounded at the tips: tarsus two inches and half a line; covered posteriorly with rough angular scales.
L. pomarinus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 793. Faun. Bor. Amer. part ii. p. 429. Pomarine Skua, Shaw, Gen. Zool. vol. xiii. p. 216. pl. 24. Selb. Illust. vol. ii. p. 517. pl. 101**.
Entire length twenty-one inches; the same, central tail-feathers excluded, eighteen inches: length of the bill (above) one inch seven lines, (from the gape) one inch ten lines; of the tarsus two inches and half a line; of the central tail-feathers nine inches six lines; of the wing fifteen inches. Faun. Bor. Am.
(Male and female in perfect plumage). Face, crown of the head, occiput, back, wings, and tail, of a uniform deep brown: neck straw-yellow; the feathers on the nape long and subulate: ear-coverts, throat, breast and belly, white; vent, and under tail-coverts, blackish brown; flanks, and sides of the breast, blotched with the same: shafts of the quills and tail-feathers white, except at their tips: bill dark brown, the tip black: legs black: tail slightly rounded, excluding the central pair of feathers; these last of equal breadth throughout, and rounded at the tips: tarsus posteriorly very rugose, clothed with angular projecting scales. (Middle age). "The whole plumage above and below very deep brown; the feathers on the neck and nape slightly elongated, tinged with yellow: central tail-feathers shorter than in the adult in perfect plumage, but always of the same breadth throughout, and rounded at the tips: bill and legs the same as described above." Temm. (Young of the year). Head, neck, and all the upper parts, very dark cinereous brown, approaching to dusky; the feathers on the back, scapulars, and wing-coverts, edged with reddish yellow: quills and tail dusky: under parts yellowish ash, with dusky spots and indistinct transverse undulating bars; upper and under tail-coverts with more distinct bands of brown and yellowish white: base of the bill greenish blue; the tip black: legs bluish ash; base of the toes, and membranes, whitish: central tail-feathers not more than half an inch longer than the others; the tips broad and rounded. (Egg). Pale green; the larger end spotted with two shades of red brown: long. diam. two inches three lines; trans, diam. one inch six lines and a half.
Inhabits the Arctic Regions. In this country, at least in the adult state, a rare and accidental visitant. Immature birds have been killed at Dover, Brighton, near London, and in several instances on the eastern coast of England. Food and habits similar to those of the last species. Said to breed on low hills in marshy districts, or on rocks. Constructs a nest of grass and moss coarsely put together, and lays two or three eggs.