This weekend I made my first and second visits of the year to the Black Skimmer colony in Indian Rocks Beach. As soon as I finish going through my thousands of shots, I’ll post some cute baby pictures. But in the meantime, I started out my adventure on Saturday with an unlikely subject. I always visit the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary when I visit the skimmers, and this time, a Double-crested Cormorant in breeding colors caught my eye. You see, it was only this year that I understood why he’s called a “double-crested” cormorant. He gets these tufts on the sides of his face during breeding season. His eyes also turn a dazzling blue, as does his mouth. So this spring one of my goals was to photograph a cormorant in breeding plumage. I did find some crested birds and birds with blue eyes, but I never saw the bright blue mouth. Until Saturday!
This guy wandered up and down the walkways of the sanctuary. He doesn’t have crests, but look at his eyes and mouth! He clearly wanted to get into the cage with the other birds, who are fed regularly while they are being rehabilitated. He’d strut up and down the length of the cage, trying to find a hole to get in. His struts were so regular that I was able to get out my camera, get down on my knees, and get a few head shots before he finally found his hole. I left him bathing with glee!
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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Splendid shots! Can’t wait to see the skimmers … sorry that I couldn’t make it there.
The skimmers said to say hi to you, Debbie. They said they’ll still be pretty cute in a few weeks, and maybe you could come help them learn to skim!
Nice find! Their eyes and mouth are beautiful when they are in their breeding plumage.
They are beautiful! I told him to say hi to you next weekend
WOW! Amazing shots, thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Pat!