Fish sticks for dinner – Skywatch Friday

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When I stopped at the black skimmer colony in early July, I was lucky enough to have come right at dinner time. The parents were busy flying in with tiny fish to feed the babies. For some of the babies, this was their first meal. You would think they could not swallow those little fish that looked bigger than their stomachs but they all eventually got them down. One little baby was so tired trying to swallow it, he had to lay down and rest for a minute. Even he got that fish down. It was constant chaos with parents flying in looking for their baby, babies screaming for mom or babies running to the wrong parent. Before sunset, things started to quiet down and the babies started to settle down under the parent. It was a beautiful night on the beach.

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Teeny tiny baby skimmers

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Only child! (I don’t think that other egg in the back is going to hatch. None of the other birds where claiming it.)

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Family portrait. This couple was going to be busy feeding three.

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“Mom, I’m hungry.”

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“Who gets the first fish?” The one closest to the parent must have been a day old. He still had wet feathers.

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“Ohhhhh!” That fish is almost as big as the baby.

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Going down.

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This one got a tiny fish.

It’s summer and too hot to be inland so I’ve been heading to the beaches more. That means more baby shorebirds. I can’t help but keep visiting the skimmer colony to see the babies. Most of the eggs have hatched even though there are still a few late bloomers coming. There are hundreds of teeny tiny babies running around the roped off area. The parents are busy flying back and forth between the surf and the nests bringing in fish for the babies. Right before sunset is the busiest with babies being fed one last time before dark. I just plop down on the sand and watch the tiny skimmer world in action. It’s like watching “The Truman Show” for birds. I hope you don’t get too bored with my baby skimmer pictures. My hubby asks me “How many pictures are you going to take of those birds?” My answer? “Thousands.”

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