Saturday, September 8, 2012

Gone Fishing? - Black Skimmer

The largest skimmer among three species, Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) has the most unusual foraging style in all birds. They prey small fish at rivers, shallow tidal water and marshes. They fly few inches above the water surface, as the elongated lower mandible contacting prey, the bill closes instantly. One very interesting fact is that they can close their pupils vertically, like a cat. Their fully dilated  pupils allow them to hunt during a dim light but feeding mostly is crepuscular or nocturnal.

Black Skimmer, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, FL
Click image to enlarge

 If you are a wild bird, and if you are big enough like a skimmer (appx. 100-127 cm wingspan), the sure thing is that you might not face too many predators. After a hard working hour, you are ready to enjoy your meal, ... but someone is out there watching .....I hope you enjoy this short presentation! --Happy Birding! -- Linda

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