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Illustrator David Sibley and actor H. Jon Benjamin will face off in the bird illustration battle of the century during BirdNote's Year-end Celebration and Auction!
Black Skimmers are a highly social species that live in colonies along coasts or on large inland bodies of water like the Salton Sea. They feed predominantly on small fish. Perhaps their most noticeable characteristic is a strong, long bill with the lower mandible much longer than the upper. Here's a good look at that strange but well-adapted bill.
Skimmers have a very interesting flight style. The up-stroke is long with the down-stroke shallow so that wings do not enter the water. Flying very low - "skimming" - over the water their lower mandible cuts through the water and snaps shut when it feels a fish.
Photos by Steve Wolfe
Watch a BirdNote video of a Black Skimmer skimming