Blog Archive: Skimmers

Birdorable Black Skimmer

Baby Birdorable: Black Skimmer

December 8th, 2012 in Baby Birds, Skimmers 1 comment

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Black Skimmer. Black Skimmers nest in colonies in salt marshes, on beaches, and other areas close to water. Usually four eggs are laid in a scrape-type nest depression in the sand or nesting substrate. Both parents incubate the eggs for around 23 days. Chicks are hatched in a semi-precocial state - they are covered in down and are able to walk from the nest scrape just 1-2 hours after hatching.

Black skimmer (Rynchops niger) chicks pipping in eggs
Black skimmer (Rynchops niger) chicks pipping in eggs by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region
Black skimmer chick
Black skimmer chick by USFWS/Southeast
Black Skimmer Chicks
Black Skimmer Chicks by Dan Pancamo
skimmer feeding chick
skimmer feeding chick by cordfish
skimmer feeding chick 1
skimmer feeding chick by cordfish
Two Chicks
Two Chicks by Dan Pancamo

Pretty cute, right? Be sure to check out our Birdorable Black Skimmer t-shirts and gifts!

Birdorable Black Skimmer

Ten facts about Black Skimmers

December 22nd, 2010 in Skimmers, Fun Facts 4 comments
Birdorable Black Skimmer

1. Black Skimmers use their elongated lower mandibles to feed by skimming it over the water.

2. Baby Black Skimmers are born with their upper and lower mandibles the same length. The longer lower mandible grows during fledging.

3. There are three species of skimmer in the world; the Black Skimmer is the only skimmer found in the Americas.

4. Black Skimmer pairs share parental duty. Males and females both incubate the eggs - in fact, male Black Skimmers even have brood patches. Both parents also brood the newborn chicks and feed the nestlings.

5. Folk names for the Black Skimmer include Seadog, Scissor-bill, and Cutwater.

6. Black Skimmers are active throughout the day, but are mainly crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk.

7. Black Skimmers have large vertically-oriented pupils like cats. Such pupils are unique in the bird world.

8. Although Black Skimmers spend most of their life near water, they do not swim.

9. Black Skimmers nest along the Gulf Coast and thus are one of the species directly threatened by the BP Oil Spill Disaster of 2010. Their unique feeding method - skimming the water - makes them uniquely vulnerable to the spilled oil. As of November 30th, 192 dead skimmers were noted by the FWS in the area of the spill.

10. The Black Skimmer is one of our cute Birdorable birds! The Black Skimmer was added to Birdorable on December 2nd, 2010.

Photo of a Black Skimmer