WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BLACK SKIMMERS?
The FMWAS Board has voted to spotlight a different bird each year
to learn more about  and to help  contribute to its survival.
This year our “Bird in the Spotlight” is the Black Skimmer.  It was an obvious choice as our newsletter is named “The Skimmer”. Also we are helping Audubon Florida with  their project to protect beach nesting birds.
But it is also an interesting bird to study since it has adapted some strange physical attributes to fill a special niche.
Did you know…?
  • The Black Skimmer has a bright, orange bill with the lower mandible that is longer than the top mandible.
  • The Black Skimmer is black on top of the head, back, and wings
  • is white on the underside.
  • The Black Skimmer  is one of three birds in the world that forages for their food by submerging the longer, lower mandible into the surface of the water.  The other two are the African Skimmer and the Indian Skimmer.
  • The Black Skimmer feeds  mostly at dawn and dusk. It is crepuscular.
  • The Black Skimmer doesn’t hunt, it forages, finding food on the water surface by touch.
  • The Black Skimmer is a local breeder and can be found on Pensacola Beach in nesting colonies where they lay their eggs right on the white sand in a shallow scrape.
  • The adult male Black Skimmer does most of the incubating but female does most of the feeding after the chicks hatch.
By Peggy Baker
 Photographs by Larry Goodman

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