Black Skimmer

Scouting for Black Skimmer Colonies

July 23, 2021 - After one of my early-summer trips to Fort De Soto, I drove up the coast to check on Black Skimmer colonies.... I found the Black Skimmers nesting where I expected them.... The Black Skimmer is one of the few birds whose lower mandible (beak) is longer than the top.... Read more

Black Skimmer

Skimming the Surface

June 10, 2021 - I started off at North Beach, where a group of Black Skimmers was working a tide pool.... Black Skimmers are one of the few birds whose lower beak (mandible) is longer than the top.... Read more

Hooded Oriole

2019: Photographic Year in Review

December 31, 2019 - Beach photography at Fort De Soto: Black-bellied Plover in flight, Red Knot, Royal Tern courtship, Least Tern courtship, Black Skimmers, Black-bellied Plover in breeding plumage For years I've read about the famous Cape Coral Burrowing Owls, and this year we finally made the trip down there.... Read more


2000 Posts on!

August 15, 2019 - Loggerhead Turtle Hatchling Emergence!!Out of the Egg: I Saw a Sandhill Crane Hatch!!!Snowy Owl in FloridaAtlantic Puffins on Machias Seal IslandNewborn Sandhill Crane Baby at NestPrecious Moments with the Least TernsBlack Skimmer ColonySwallow-tailed Kite RoostCygnets for Mother's Day A Rainbow of Color at Fort De SotoGreat Horned Owl Nest at Fort…... Read more

Black Skimmer

First Black Skimmer Babies

June 24, 2019 - You may recall that I recently scouted out a Black Skimmer colony and observed lots of mating and courtship behaviors.... Knowing that the incubation time for Black Skimmers is 21-23 days, I calculated the time when I should head back and find babies.... A few Black Skimmers were fishing in…... Read more

Black Skimmer

It’s Skimmer Time Again!

May 10, 2019 - The Black Skimmer is distinctive with its bill shape.... Unlike most birds, the Black Skimmer's lower mandible is longer than the top, making it easy for the bird to "skim" for fish in the ocean.... Read more

Black Skimmer

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 14, 2017 - Least Tern Mother & Chick Roseate Spoonbill Mother & Baby Black Skimmer Mother & Baby Sandhill Crane Mother & Colt Great Horned Owl Mother & Babies Mute Swan Mother & Cygnet  ... Read more

Least Tern Mother and Baby

Year in Review: Photographic Memories of 2015

December 31, 2015 - My dad and I made it over to Black Skimmer colony once this year, to find that the colony had hatched early this year and most of the chicks were well into their "tween" period between tiny chicks and awkward juveniles.... Read more

Black Skimmer

More from the Black Skimmer Colony

July 19, 2015 -  Usually by now I've made several visits to the Black Skimmer colony at Indian Rocks Beach, but this year, they nested early and I've only had time for one visit, when most of the chicks were about two weeks old.... Read more

Least Tern Fish Exchange

Year in Review: 2014

December 30, 2014 - Luck was on the side of the Black Skimmers this year, as no tropical storms or hurricanes interfered with the nesting colony on the West Coast of Florida....  I spent several happy afternoons sprawled on the sand, photographing the tiny wonders that are newborn Black Skimmers.... Read more

Black Skimmer

Lakeland Christmas Bird Count 2014

December 21, 2014 - We counted a nice flock of Black Skimmers, whose familiar bark alerted us to their presence long before we saw them in flight....  Black Skimmers are another bird more commonly found on Florida's coast, although they are also regulars at the "manmade islands" of several downtown Lakeland lakes.... Read more

Black Skimmer

Juvenile Black Skimmers in Flight

July 31, 2014 - The baby Black Skimmers sure have grown!...  I returned to Indian Rocks two weekends ago to try for juvenile Black Skimmers in flight....  The juvenile Black Skimmers went wading in the tidal pools, which gave them a chance to get a drink and practice walk-skimming without having to deal with…... Read more

Black Skimmer

Juvenile Black Skimmers Meet the Water

July 25, 2014 - Two weeks after visiting the week-old skimmers, I headed back to Indian Rocks Beach to visit "my babies."   I hoped that the oldest Black Skimmer babies, now teenagers, would start venturing down to the water.... The Black Skimmers didn't seem bothered by the waves that would crash around them as…... Read more

Black Skimmer

Week-Old Black Skimmers are Still Cute!

July 19, 2014 - The baby Black Skimmers that I photographed four weeks ago as hatchlings are already learning to fly....  The week-old Black Skimmers are much bigger than when they first hatched, but they are still pretty cute!...  "Mom, little Johnny in the next hole says that these little stubs are for flying...when can I do that,…... Read more

Fish Toss!

More Cute Baby Black Skimmers

July 7, 2014 - My first evening with the cute baby Black Skimmers two weeks ago was so good that I had to return the very next evening to get another dose of my favorite summertime subjects....  I know, I know, all the Florida nature photographers are posting Black Skimmer chicks right now....  Incubation…... Read more

Black Skimmer

Black Skimmer Hatchlings (Cuteness Alert!)

July 4, 2014 -  Today we celebrate our country's independence, and along the shores of Indian Rocks Beach, a colony of tiny Black Skimmer hatchlings celebrate their freedom from their eggshells!... The Black Skimmer parents are amazing to watch.... Read more

Black Skimmer

What Took Me So Long? Lake Mirror Is Great!

March 15, 2014 -  I was surprised to see a flock of Black Skimmers in the middle of the lake when I first arrived....  That familiar call is unmistakeable after spending so many hours at the Black Skimmer nesting colony!... Read more

Mommy! Make me a Sandwich!

Juvenile Shorebirds from Last Summer

February 13, 2014 -  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 Black Skimmer juvies were much more dignified.... Read more

Snowy Owl in Florida

Snowy Owl in Florida!!!

January 5, 2014 - I was so excited with the prospect of seeing the Snowy Owl that I almost walked right by the regulars on the beach, including wintering Black Skimmers Not knowing the area well, my dad and I decided to walk the beach and hope that the Snowy Owl would come back.... Read more

Black Skimmer

Teenage Skimmers Learning to Skim!

August 19, 2013 - This weekend I returned to the Black Skimmer colony at Indian Rocks Beach.... As the sun grew hot and the light got harsh, I caught an adult and juvenile Black Skimmer together in the air.... Read more

Black Skimmer

More From Indian Rocks Beach

August 15, 2013 - I hope you're not tired of reading about the Black Skimmers yet, because today's post brings you more from Indian Rocks Beach!... Read more

Black Skimmer

Two-Week Old Black Skimmers

August 13, 2013 - Several weeks ago, I returned to the Black Skimmer colony at Indian Rocks Beach to photograph the two-week old Black Skimmers.... The little guys had grown up quite a bit since I photographed them as newborns.  Some would say that the two-week old Black Skimmers are less cute than when…... Read more

Learning to Fly

August 11, 2013 - I returned to the Black Skimmer colony two weeks ago to check on the babies.... Read more

Black Skimmer

Black Skimmer Chick Fillets!

August 4, 2013 - The weekend after I returned from Maine, my dad and I drove to Indian Rocks Beach to check on the Black Skimmer colony....  We found that most of the eggs laid after Tropical Storm Andrea had hatched, and the colony was full of tiny newborn Black Skimmer chicks.... Read more

Easter Sunrise at the Circle B Bar Reserve

April 5, 2013 - As I stood enjoying the sunrise, I heard the familiar sound of Black Skimmers....  I was surprised, because I'd never seen Black Skimmers at the Circle B Bar Reserve before....  This year it was a flock of Caspian Terns, mixed with more Black Skimmers.... Read more

Bittersweet Skimmer Colony Memories

July 2, 2012 - For a year I've been looking forward to the hatching of a new crop of Black Skimmers at a colony located on the West Coast of Florida.  Approximately 500 adults return to the same patch of beach to make their nests and raise their chicks.  Closely supervised by the Audubon…... Read more

Black Skimmer

Three Hours Sitting in One Spot at Fort De Soto

April 24, 2012 - It didn't take long for a large flock of Black Skimmers to join the gulls at my tidal pool.  The light was awesome in the early morning.  I love how the water sparkles with the colors of the sunrise.  The skimmers came to roost in front of me, and every…... Read more

Black Skimmer

You’ve Come a Long Way, Babies!

July 25, 2011 - I stopped at Indian Rocks Beach to visit the Black Skimmer colony yesterday after my morning at Fort De Soto.  It was 10:15 by the time I got there, so the light was already pretty harsh, but I couldn't resist the temptation to see the little chicks all grown up. …... Read more

Black Skimmer

A Fish Tale: Day 2 at the Black Skimmer Colony

June 24, 2011 - Seeing is believing...and yet who can believe that such tiny Black Skimmer chicks can swallow fish almost as big as they are?... Black Skimmer chick with fish I went back to the Black Skimmer colony this morning.  After the incredible sunset last night, I knew not to expect great light…... Read more

Black Skimmer

Black Skimmer Colony: Day 1

June 23, 2011 - I love my off-Fridays!  Rich and I took advantage of our three-day weekend to drive out to Indian Shores, where there is a nesting colony of Black Skimmers.  The colony is located near the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, a really neat non-profit bird hospital.  The sanctuary rehabilitates birds and releases them…... Read more

My First Trip to Fort De Soto

September 4, 2010 - Laughing Gull - comfort first Laughing Gull - juvenile The sandpipers were so cute, running around in the sand.  They are so fast!  At one point a small flock of them flew out over the Gulf, and the silvery reflections that their wings gave off was beautiful.  They looked like…... Read more