22 June 2012

Black Skimmers

Black Skimmers, Rynchops niger, are breathtaking birds with odd bills and striking red-orange highlights.  I love how weird these birds look.  I see skimmers on occasion but when a large group is just sitting about the shore, I can't help but be transfixed.  I must have taken a hundred photos of these birds alone. 

Black Skimmers catch small fish by dragging their lower mandible at the water's surface which is longer than the upper bill.  These slightly awkward birds become majestic when flying and skimming the surface.  I sat on the beach and watched them for quite awhile before venturing off to look at the other shorebirds of the area.

My trip to Tarpon Springs was so nice and it reminded me how much I love the Gulf shores of Florida.  I'll be back to watch the skimmers and shorebirds again.

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