Skim Just a Little Off the Top, Please

As a followup to yesterday’s post on the Black Skimmer (Rhynchops niger), today’s post features their best-known behavior, skimming across the water. In this first photo, a black skimmer is returning to the beach at St. Petersburg. Note the long size of the lower mandible, while the upper mandible is much shorter:

Black Skimmer landing on the beach

This gives them a tremendous help in being able to fly across the water, with the lower mandible in the water “skimming” for small fish. Whenever it senses a  fish in it’s beak, it closes it’s beak, capturing it’s meal:

Black Skimmer, skimming across the water

Black Skimmer, skimming across the water

Black Skimmer, skimming across the water

Black Skimmer, skimming across the water

In some of the above images you can see the “trail” left behind the bird as it skims across the water. Such an interesting bird to watch!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 1D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF100mm-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens, shot from 460mm to 540 mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter 1/1000 sec. to 1/2000 sec.

 

 

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Posted in 2014, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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