Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Watery Wednesday #52: Just Skimming Along Old Tampa Bay


It's Watery Wednesday and this seabird is certainly enjoying hanging out on the sand of Old Tampa Bay. The Black Skimmer seabird, Rynchops niger, breeds in North and South America and has become very common in Southern California. Northern populations winter in the warmer waters of the Caribbean and the tropical and subtropical pacific coasts. They like to winter on public beaches, even those with a lot of human activity, or sand bars where they hang out with sea gulls and terns. I found this Skimmer with gulls and smaller seabirds at a busy beach on Picnic Island. They get their name from the way they skim across the top of the waters with their lower beak down at the surface to catch small fish. Unlike a lot of birds, their bright red-orange feet are webbed.


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15 comments:

Jacob said...

Yikes! I've never seen one of these in Florida, and how could I have possibly missed those colors?

Now, I'll have to keep my eyes peeled traveling around the state!

Nice shot!

Don and Krise said...

You gotta admit, that's one oddly shaped bird. Pretty good fisherman though I'll bet.

Paulo Camacho said...

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Gunn White said...

To me this is a nice photo of a unique bird!:-)

eileeninmd said...

Cool shot of the Black Skimmer!

Tammie Lee said...

wow that bird is very cool looking, I have never seen one. Thanks for sharing.
Spirithelpers

JM said...

What an amazing bird! Love the colour of the water/background. Great composition!

J Bar said...

An unusual looking bird.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

B SQUARED said...

Never saw one before. I don't think they frequent the east coast.

Pat said...

What an interesting looking bird! Love the bright red color!

Lynette said...

That's pretty much amazing, the look of this bird. Thanks so much for posting your fine photo. Glad you like my 3 Doors Down Cafe eats!

Virginia said...

This makes me ache to be back on the Gulf coast. I"ve not made the trip in a few years but is one of my most favorite spots on earth. I'm partial to Seagrove Beach FL. Have not been to Tampa. Maybe one day....!
V

Lois said...

I've never seen one either! This is a gorgeous bird. He looks so sleek.

James said...

That is a really cool looking bird.

Frank said...

@Jacob: I was surprised to see a line of 8-10 of these birds facing into the wind on the sand. I had never seen one before and had to really search to identify it. (Notice they don't seem to have eyes.) They have become very abundant on public beaches in Southern California so they must prefer surfer-looking girls over the Southern beauties.

@Virginia: I know Seagrove and was last up there for Hurricane Ivan in '04. I spent most of my time at Gulf Shores, Perdido Key and Orange Beach. Seagrove has a postcard-perfect beach. Nice relaxing town.