March 9, 2015

Skimmin' the Gulf

Sanibel Skimmers
I thought I'd share a few more photos from my recent stay-cation on Sanibel.  There was lots of sun, surf, sand, and (of course) birds for me to shoot!  I was excited to encounter this flock of black skimmers on the Gulf of Mexico one morning.  They're easy to spot with their black tipped orange beak and jet black and white body.  The skimmer is the only bird with an upper bill that's shorter than it's lower one, which is why it's nicknamed the "scissorbill".  I don't see them very often in Sarasota, and this was the largest number I've ever spotted together. 

SkimmerThey fly quite fast and skim the water, dipping their lower bill in the water, scooping up shrimp and small fish near the surface.  Skimmers like to feed together and when they do, they swoop down one immediately after the other in a line.  So, if one doesn't snag something to eat, the next skimmers in line probably will.  Very interesting to watch.  Hope everyone had a good weekend -- and for those in the States, I hope you're acclimating to Daylight Saving Time!  

16 comments:

Nancy J said...

Wow, you nailed the last photo to perfection, I can hear the wings, and the water skiffing( is that a real word) as it looks for food.Not to say, the top one is a real beaut too.

Andy said...

Interesting to watch and interesting to photograph.

Babzy said...

Amazing pictures ! :)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I really like both these images SRQ, the first looks amazing when enlarged, all those vibrant red spots. So interesting, I did not know that about the shorter beak!

Kathy said...

Very pretty birds.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful captures!

Brian King said...

Fantastic!

Michelle said...

I love that first shot.

Kate said...

Beautiful shots of these birds. I also like your banner very much.

Birdman said...

Hate to be a fish and have to meet that beak. Ouch!

Lois said...

Beautiful pictures, especially that second shot! By the way, your comment about gators on my blog post today was funny. I grew up in Florida, but I'm always worried about them too and don't get me started on the snakes swimming around in that water!

Jack said...

Skimmers? These are new to me. I will be on the lookout.

Kay said...

I've never seen skimmers before. They're pretty stunning birds. I'd love to see them hunting together; it sounds amazing. Great shots!

Stuart said...

What wonderful shots of these beautiful birds. You must have a great lens to get these so sharp.

Bob Carlson said...

It's probably time I started working my my nature photos. These are amazing shots.

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