Juvenile Shorebirds from Last Summer


I found some images from last summer that I had never processed.  In August I spent several mornings at Indian Rocks Beach photographing the nesting Black Skimmers, but the skimmers weren’t the only birds who posed for me.  The juvenile shorebirds also put on a show for the camera.  I especially liked the juvenile terns, who had reached the point that they were almost-self sufficient, but they didn’t know it yet.  They begged and begged for food!

Mommy!  Make me a Sandwich!
Mommy! Make me a Sandwich!

The birds above are Sandwich Terns.  The juvenile on the right was begging nonstop for food.  The mom on the left just didn’t seem to care!  The juvie threw his head back and forth and cried out constantly.  Juvies often continue this behavior, even after they have learned to fly and catch their own food.  Sometimes it’s just easier to have Mom bring you food than to find it for yourself!

Begging Juvenile Royal Tern
Begging Juvenile Royal Tern

This Royal Tern parent was about as sympathetic to her desperate offspring as the Sandwich Tern.  It’s such fun to watch the juvies dance as they demand attention.  Once you spend any amount of time near a baby bird, with its constant nagging fuss, you recognize the same type of call in many other species of birds.

Afternoon Nap
Afternoon Nap

The Black Skimmer juvies were much more dignified.  This one above stood napping in the warm sun.  I wonder if he realized how well he blended in with the driftwood next to him!  When he got hungry, he flew off and went skimming in the ocean for a fish.

Want to learn more about nature photography at Black Skimmer Colonies?

Check out my Black Skimmer Colonies page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!

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