One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of the smaller kinds of Arctic-breeding skuas.
Genus Stercorarius, family Stercorariidae: three species, e.g. the parasitic jaeger or Arctic skua (S. parasiticus)
- ‘Some species such as skuas (Catharacta spp.), jaegers (Stercorarius spp.), and sheathbills (Chionis spp.) are considered obligate kleptoparasites, particularly during the breeding season or on migration.’
- ‘Usually you can expect to see great numbers of pelagic birds - gannets, shearwaters, jaegers, storm-petrels, alcids - that live mainly at sea.’
- ‘On the other hand, there is a rich community of specialist and generalist predators (arctic foxes, stoats, snowy owls, rough-legged hawks, gulls, jaegers and ravens), all of which feed on lemmings.’
- ‘Skuas and jaegers also display reversed size dimorphism to a similar degree to raptor species that feed on carrion, insects, reptiles, or mammals, but are less dimorphic than those that feed exclusively on birds.’
- ‘Sandy Neck, Barnstable, and First Encounter Beach, Eastham, are Cape places to observe shearwaters, jaegers, phalaropes, ducks, gannets and for a few lucky sentinels, an occasional northern fulmar.’
Mid 19th century (applied to any predatory seabird): from German Jäger ‘hunter’, from jagen ‘to hunt’.
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