Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pic of the Day

Black Skimmer, Rynchops niger (Juvenile):  Indian Shores Beach, Florida

Black Skimmer, Rynchops niger:
Juvenile Black Skimmer runs through the receding tide practicing its skimming techniques.

Black Skimmer, Rynchops niger:
Juvenile Black Skimmer running along the beach practicing its skimming techniques.    

   By the time I arrived at the Indian Shores Beach skimmer colony, many of the skimmer chicks had already fledged and were spending their time on the waters edge.  Although most of the young skimmers were still being fed by their parents, they were using their time practicing skimming techniques.
     I noticed that the immature birds would run along the sandy beach, and along the edge of the water with their heads held low with their lower mandible just above the sand or in the water.  After some practice, I saw a juvenile take flight and try skimming for short distances above the water.  I don't know how long it takes a young bird to learn to skim, but it looks like they are quick studies.

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