BLACK SKIMMER


Rhynchops niger


Description:

This is one of the most facinating birds around. It feeds for fish by flying low to the water and allowing its lower mandible to cut through the water surface. They will, however, also stand in shallow water and stab for fish with their bill. Although small groups sometimes form, these birds usually seen alone or in pairs.


Appearance:

Black upperparts. White forehead and underparts. Black upperwing with white trailing edge. Pale underwings. Large bright orange bill with black tip. The lower mandible is longer than upper. Red legs. Short white tail with a black center. Juveniles have mottled upperparts with a dark bill. 17 to 18 inches in length.


Habitat:

Beaches and sandbars (breeding). Shallow bays, inlets, and estuaries (feeding).


Nesting:

3-4 buff eggs with brown blotches and a 21-23 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 23-25 days. The eggs are layed on bare sand amoung shell pieces and grass clumps.


Observed Locations:

  • South Bay at 7th St, Imperial Beach
  • Crown Point, Mission Bay
  • Pacific Ocean off Carnation Ave, Imperial Beach





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7th Ave, IB

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7th Ave, IB

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7th Ave, IB

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7th Ave, IB

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7th Ave, IB

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7th Ave, IB

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7th Ave, IB

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7th Ave, IB

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