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Skua

Skua CR 1/3

XP 135
N Tiny animal
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +10

DEFENSE

AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 12 (+3 Dex, +2 size)
hp 4 (1d8)
Fort +2; Ref +5; Will +2
Speed 10 ft., fly 50 ft. (good)
Melee 2 talons +5 (1d4–2), bite +5 (1d3–2)
Special Attacks dive-bomb

STATISTICS

Str 6, Dex17, Con11, Int2, Wis14, Cha7
Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 9
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +11, Perception +10; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Dive-Bomb (Ex)

When a charging skua confirms a critical hit, the creature hit must succeed on a DC 10 Fortitude saving throw or be blinded for 1d4 rounds.

The save DC is Constitution-based. The skua can only use this special attack while flying.

ECOLOGY

Environment cold coastline and swamps
Organization solitary, pair, or flock (3–20)
Treasure none

Measuring nearly two feet long with a four-foot wingspan, this bird has a brown coloration with white streaks on its wings.

Many birds inhabit polar coastal regions. On our planet, penguins are practically synonymous with Antarctica. Most avian predators ignore or avoid humans, but one group of polar seabirds rightfully earned its reputation for aggression and overall bad behavior — the skua. These little-known birds predominately dwell in coastal areas or swamps bordering polar seas and oceans, though they occasionally fly farther inland in search of food. These carnivorous birds commonly feast on carrion scavenged from the kills of other animals, but they also attack other birds and land animals twice or even three times their size. Creatures trespassing close to their nests feel the full brunt of the skua’s belligerence. The parent bird swoops down from the skies and viciously pecks and slashes at the intruder’s head. Not surprisingly, the ornery skua shows little regard for the brooding grounds of other birds. They frequently steal eggs and live chicks from their avian counterparts.

The typical skua reaches a maximum length of 2 feet when measured from beak to tail and an average wingspan of 4 feet. Skuas have rounded barrel chests with brown feathers featuring white streaks. They weigh no more than a few pounds, but they boast a fearsome arsenal of weaponry including a long, tipped beak, webbed feet ending in sharp claws, and most importantly, a nasty disposition. When seasoned polar explorers spot these birds circling overhead, they tread very carefully to avoid upsetting them with a single wrong step onto their closely guarded territory.