Long-tailed Jeager

Stercorarius longicaudus

Long-tailed Jaegers can appear at virtually any time through the tour season. On average, they tend to be more numerous in July and early August, as they often congregate in the island’s fields of crowberry, eating insects that are attracted to the ripening fruit. In flight, Long-tailed Jaegers are the epitome of grace. Adults are unmistakable, with their very elongated central tail feathers, clear breast band and grayish upperwing. Long-tailed Jaegers are much more lightly built than Pomarine or Parasitic and fly in a very buoyant, almost tern-like fashion. Both Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers show a dark breast band, are brown above, and show a white flash in the underwing. Juvenile Long-tailed Jaegers share the light build and flight style of adults, and show only one or two white primary shafts in the upperwing. Subadult Long-tailed Jaegers show the grayish upperparts of adults, and show a nicely two-toned upperwing, with darker primary coverts contrasting with the rest of the mantle. This is the most likely species of Jaeger to occur over land on Saint Paul.


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