When I was in Florida recently, I apparently missed fellow Ohioan Dane Adams by a short leap and a bound. He and his wife were in the same area, around the same time, and of course Dane was making some of his trademark awesome photographs. Those of you who read this blog regularly will recall some of Dane's beautiful images that he has allowed me to share.
Well, wait'll you get a load of the one that follows.
This picture, of a chunky Black Skimmer, is mine. I took it near Sanibel Island as the odd-looking bird rested with a platoon of other skimmers. I would say that the first thing about a skimmer that grab's one eye is that bill. It's fat, asymmetrical, and bright orange at the base. Being nearly as thick as the bird's head, one might think that this appendage would be an awkward forward-heavy thing to have stuck to the front of one's face.
As we can see from Dane's photo, the lower mandible of a Black Skimmer would offer little in the way of resistance; it is incredibly hydrodynamic. Not only does its thinness produce no drag, its shape also creates nearly no turbulence, which might alert potential fishy victims that something very bad for them rapidly approaches.
Thanks to Dane Adams for sharing his spectacular photo.