Skuas often collaborate to tear up large prey, as ornithologist Edgar Stead observed:
‘A trio which used to feed on the cleared ground in front of our hut on Solomon Island [near Stewart Island], partitioned their prey in the most polite manner imaginable. Number one would take the bird, say a dove petrel, in its bill, getting a good firm grip, then hold it towards number two, who would pull off and swallow its head. Number three would then pull off a wing, and then perhaps number two would hold it while number one had a mouthful.’
From Edgar Stead, The life histories of New Zealand birds. London: Search, 1932, p. 66
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Department of Conservation
Photograph by Fred Bruemmer
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