The close similarity in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) between Pomarine and (North Atlantic) Great skuas, Stercorarius pomarinus and Stercorarius skua, has several possible explanations. Two of the main alternatives are stochastic lineage sorting of mtDNA and introgressive hybridization between S. pomarinus and S. skua. Here, a new probabilistic approach to testing these alternatives using different phylogenies based on external morphology, mtDNA and ectoparasites leads to rejection of the lineage sorting and corroboration of the hybridization hypothesis. If great skuas are a monophyletic group, as indicated by the present cladistic analysis based on morphology and by other evidence, the available molecular genetic data are as expected if mtDNA has been transferred from S. pomarinus to S. skua by introgressive hybridization. Further evidence from several unlinked regions of nuclear DNA is crucial for critical testing of the alternative hypotheses on skua evolution.