Growing up a skimmer

In mid-July the baby black skimmers were growing up quickly and heading out on their own. Many were already down at the water line and practicing their wing flaps.

There were still a few younger ones including the one on the left with a young royal tern and much older juvenile skimmer on the right.

Soon the babies will start flying and leave along with the parents and then all that’s left on the beaches are those annoying laughing gulls, looking to steal some kid’s sandwich or chips.

A small part of the skimmer army, lined up along the water.

Photographing New Zealand

Learning to swim and skim.

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I was fortunate enough to spend a few minutes on a Saturday morning this summer watching baby skimmers learning to do things that adult skimmer do. They were trying to imitate what their parents were doing. Getting their feet wet and trying to figure out what all the fuss was about putting your beak in the water. Soon they’ll be experts at it themselves.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

The cutest babies of all

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“I am Skippy the Skimmer and I am the cutest one here.”

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“Me first.”

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“This is my fish.”

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“I’m Sparky the Skimmer and I am a little bit older. I’m starting to get color in my feathers and my beak is getting longer.”

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“Where’s my  Mom?  You’re not suppose to bother me, Least tern.” said the baby skimmer.  “But you look tasty and I’m hungry” said the juvenile Least tern.

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“Stay away from my baby!” said the adult skimmer.

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“You stay away as well”

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“I’m sticking close to mom”.

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“Who me? I’m not going anywhere.”

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“Mom, where’s my fish?”

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“I pretend to be brave but now I’m scared and running to hide under Mom.”

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“I’m Stanley, one of the oldest babies skimmers here. I’m almost grown up and just learning to fly. I’m also learning to brake.”

I didn’t make it to see the baby black skimmers until late July. I was expecting to see them all grown up but this was a late year and there were still many tiny babies.  The babies have a lot against them.  Between the tourists getting too close, the crows and laughing gulls trying to get a meal and the risk of high tide, it’s a hard knock life for a little bird. If the tiny babies wander away from the roped off area, a tourist could easily not see him blending into the sand and step on him. If we get another bad storm like Colin back in early June, the tide could get too high and the little babies can’t swim yet or fly away. But, hopefully most make it through.  I took so many pictures of these cute little guys so there are tons more to come.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters