20
Feb
17

Skimming

I’ve seen African, Indian and Black Skimmers, the American version, previously; but never managed to get a photo of one skimming.

To explain. A skimmer is a species of bird. In fact there are just three different types in the world occupying areas around water in India, America and Africa. They are somewhat tern like in their appearance but much larger and their lower mandible is extended beyond the upper, to give them a very odd appearance. This adaptation enables the bird to fly along with it’s lower mandible ‘trailing’ in water and when it touches a fish it snaps it up and swallows the meal. Cool.

We were watching out over the estuary of the Maipo in Chile. There was a distant flock of several hundred skimmers mixed with gulls towards the other side of the river some one kilometre distant . However a  small flock of eight individuals were much closer and they were mobile. Eventually they started to skim right in front of us. A superb bit of evolution.

black-smimmer

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