Stercorarius pomarinus

Status:  Rare casual fall migrant statewide.

Documentation: Specimen: Olson Collection at UNK, 8 Oct 1917 Buffalo Co (Swenk, Notes After 1925; Bray et al 1986).

Taxonomy:  No subspecies are recognized.

This species, which has DNA almost identical to that of Great Skua (Stercorarius [Catharacta] skua), may have arisen from a hybridization event involving Great Skua and Long-tailed Jaeger (S. longicaudus) (Olsen and Larsson 1997); Wiley and Lee (2020) add that the genetic and behavioral similarities between Pomarine Jaeger and Great Skua suggested that “Pomarine Jaeger [should be included] with the large skuas”, and  that “it seems reasonable to unite them all in a single genus Stercorarius”. This approach is followed by Gill and Donsker (2017) and herein.

FallAmong several reports of birds purported to be this species, only 14 are accepted. Jun-Aug records are of adults and Sep-Dec records are of juveniles and immatures.

30 Jun 1990 light morph adult photographed Lewis and Clark Lake, Cedar Co (Grenon 1991; Brogie 1997).

21 Jul 2001 light morph adult Lake McConaughy, Keith Co (Jorgensen 2003).

24 Aug 2007 Lake McConaughy “almost certainly a Pomarine” (Silcock 2007)

28-29 Aug 1999 light morph adult Merritt Reservoir, Cherry Co (Jorgensen 2003)

8 Sep 1973 immature Branched Oak Lake, Lancaster Co (Cortelyou 1974)

8-10 Sep 2000 two juveniles Lake McConaughy (Jorgensen 2002)

17 Sep 2006 light morph juvenile Lake McConaughy (Silcock 2006)

17-18 Sep 2005 dark juvenile Lake McConaughy (Silcock 2005)

8 Oct 1917 (specimen cited above)

21 Oct 2001 juvenile Santee, Knox Co (Silcock 2001).

14-19 Nov 1997 juvenile Pawnee Lake, Lancaster Co (Brogie 1998)

18-19 Nov 1999 three juveniles, two dark and one intermediate morph Lake McConaughy (Jorgensen 2001)

3 Dec 1999 juvenile dark morph Lake McConaughy (Jorgensen 2001)

15-17 Dec 1991 Conestoga Lake, Lancaster Co (Gubanyi 1996).

Comments: Since 2000, as information about distinguishing jaeger species has improved and become readily available and as observers are better able to document jaeger sightings, there have been fewer sightings of jaegers not identified to species; see Sharpe et al (2001) for a summary of older records.


UNK: University of Nebraska- Kearney


Photograph (top) of a Pomarine Jaeger chasing a Ring-billed Gull at Pawnee Lake, Lancaster Co 16 Nov 1997 by John Sullivan.

Literature Cited

Bray, T.E., B.K. Padelford, and W.R. Silcock. 1986. The birds of Nebraska: A critically evaluated list. Published by the authors, Bellevue, Nebraska, USA.

Brogie, M.A. 1997. 1996 (Eighth) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 65: 115-126.

Brogie, M.A. 1999. 1998 (Tenth) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 67: 141-152.

Cortelyou, R.G. 1974. 1973 (Sixteenth) Fall Occurrence Report. NBR 42: 22-41.

Grenon, A.G. 1991. 1991 (Fourth) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 59: 150-155.

Gubanyi, J.G. 1996. 1994 (Sixth) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 64: 38-42.

Jorgensen, J.G. 2001. 1999 (Eleventh) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 69: 85-91.

Jorgensen, J.G. 2002. 2002 (sic; =2000). (12th) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 70: 84-90.

Jorgensen, J.G. 2003. 2001 (13th) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 71: 97-102.

Olsen, K.M., and H. Larsson. 1997. Skuas and Jaegers: A Guide to the Skuas and Jaegers of the World. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Sharpe, R.S., W.R. Silcock, and J.G. Jorgensen. 2001. The Birds of Nebraska, their Distribution and Temporal Occurrence.  University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

Silcock, W.R. 2001. Fall Field Report, August-September 2001. NBR 69: 158-189.

Silcock, W.R. 2005. Fall Field Report, August-November 2005. NBR 73: 134-150.

Silcock, W.R. 2006. Fall Field Report, August-November 2006. NBR 74: 110-128.

Silcock, W.R. 2007. Fall Field Report, August-November 2007. NBR 75: 98-118.

Swenk, M.H. Notes after 1925. Critical notes on specimens in Brooking, Black, and Olson collections made subsequent to January 1, 1925. Handwritten manuscript in the Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union Archives, University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

Haven Wiley, R. and D.S. Lee. 2020. Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.pomjae.01.

Recommended Citation:

Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen. 2020. Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus). In Birds of Nebraska — Online. www.BirdsofNebraska.org

Birds of Nebraska – Online

Updated 28 Mar 2020