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Arctic Skua eating insects midflight

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:52 pm
by ourspot
For the last 2 evenings I've had at least 2 Arctic Skuas flying around for an hour at sunset above our cabin on Napier's Bayview area. There were also plenty of gulls (black-billed and black-backed) and WF Terns as well.

The weird thing was the skuas weren't chasing the terns when they had food in their mouths but were favouring catching some flying insects (presume moths or beetles). What the skuas were catching was quite visible and seemed roundish (which makes me think beetles). I originally thought it was food being dropped by terns but the objects were flying off with skua in chase.

The black-billed gulls were also taking the bugs mid-air and them and the skuas put on a great display of aerobatics.

Has anyone else noticed this behaviour before?