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Skimmers skimming the Gulf for Food

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Skimmers skimming the Gulf for Food

Skimmers, Rynchops niger, are a type of shore bird that are named for their skimming the top of water with their razor-like bills to grab prey off the water’s surface. Skimmers most closely resemble Royal Terns but at a quick glance can be easily mistaken for a bird with similar colors, the American Oyster Catcher. Skimmers are unique in that they have uneven bills where the lower mandible is longer than the upper. This allows their razor-sharp bill to cut through the water’s surface ready to grab any unsuspecting fish or shrimp near the water’s surface. Also referred to as Razor Bills and Scissor-bills.

These two Black Skimmers were a delight to watch as they circled Sand Spit Island periodically skimming the Gulf Coastal waters as they passed by. These photos were take on Sand Spit Island in Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin, Florida