Brazen Beauty, Great Skua, Shetland

March 21, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Great Skua, Mousa, Shetland Islands, ScotlandGreat Skua, Mousa, Shetland Islands, ScotlandMoussa
This is the mafia don of the gull world. It is an aggressive predator willing to tackle even larger birds like the northern gannet. I have seen a small group of them dive-bomb a gannet sitting on the water and eventually drown it. When they are nesting on the open pasture and moorlands in the Scottish isles, only the fool-hardy pass close by because a gash to the head is likely as they swoop down at speed. Biologists that study them wear helmets. As well as killing other birds and small mammals, they are very adept pirates. They harass other large seabirds as they return to their nest sites with food causing them to disgorge the hard-earned meal. But when seen against the sky with soft light filtering through its wings, it can be a very fine sight indeed.
 

Great Skua, Mousa, Shetland Islands, ScotlandGreat Skua, Mousa, Shetland Islands, ScotlandMousa Broch

This is what it looks like to be dive-bombed by this fellow. These are big, heavy birds capable of doing real damage. I had inadvertently wandered where I was not welcome, but I can guarantee I did not linger.
 


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