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Black Skimmer, skimming

A Black Skimmer slices the water in a Florida wetland. I made this photo in 2011, and always liked it, in part because I really like this species. Black Skimmers have an elongated lower mandible, and are adept at doing just what their name suggests - skimming low over still waters, cutting the surface with their specialized bill, and harvesting whatever small piscine life is unlucky enough to be in the path. The bird is like a feathered crop duster of doom to the aquatic crowd, dropping from the sky and plowing a trail of destruction through the shallows.

We've never had a Black Skimmer in Ohio, and I don't expect that we will. But if one were to turn up here, now, it'd hurt its beak. Most all of our water is still in ice, and that doesn't make for good skimming. Here in the North it is the winter that won't end. It is 16 F as I write, and tomorrow's high will be 18 F, dropping to a low of 6 tomorrow night. For the most part, low temperatures such as those are forecast for the next week or so.

Perhaps if I offer up this Black Skimmer as a photographic propitiation to the gods of summer, heat, and sun, they will make winter relinquish its hold.


Bruce Lindman said…
I enjoyed watching Black Skimmers in North Carolina last Spring.
What you don't see in this photo is how amazingly thing their beaks are.
Like knife blades, seen head-on.

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