Long-tailed jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus

Identification Tips:

Adult light morph:

Adult dark morph:



Similar species:

Young Long-tailed Jaegers look superficially like first-year Herring Gulls but have a more powerful, direct flight and white patches on the primaries visible from above and below the wing. Skuas are similar as well but are bulkier and thicker-necked, with much more prominent wing patches. Jaegers look most similar to each other. Adult Long-tailed can be safely identified when their very long, pointed central tail feathers are seen. The adult light morph Long-tailed lacks the breast band that Parasitic and Pomarines have, and has gray, not dark brown upperparts contrasting with dark secondaries. Juvenile and subadult jaegers are very difficult to tell apart. The Pomarine has a heavier bill and is larger than the other species and juveniles have very short rounded tail feathers. Juvenile Parasitics often have distinctive cinnamon tones to their plumage, pale primary tips or wavy uppertail coverts. Juvenile and subadult Long-tailed Jaegers often look grayer than the other species and can have longer tails. Juvenile Long-tailed Jaegers typically have black and white wavy uppertail covert bars and axillaries, long rounded central tail feathers, just two white primary shafts, and a dark intrusion into the white primary patch from below.