Splashing and skimming

June is the time of the year when you can find black skimmers on the beaches in the Tampa bay area. They aren’t spread out across the area like gulls are but tend to congregate in certain spots to nest. Skimmers lay their eggs right on the beach and they do it in large colonies. In late June it was hot and many of the adults were hanging out along the water line taking baths. I was wishing I had brought my swimsuit so I could have joined them. They were also skimming along the line trying to catch fish to take back to the babies. There were lots of babies. More to come.

One last look at the summer baby skimmers

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This little skimmer was just figuring out what those wings and beak were for.

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There were still a few babies that hadn’t not made it to the shoreline yet. They were still sticking close to mom.

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This skimmer was missing a foot.

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A few adults were taking a bath.

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This young one was just starting to fly.

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Right next to the skimmers, this guy caught this fish.

Now all the baby skimmers are grown up and gone. Off to conquer the world!

What I think the skimmers say

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“Don’t come close” says mom skimmer.

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“I’ll just lean on this big stick.”

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“You’re squishing me mom!”

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“FISHHHHHH!!”

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“When is my brother going to hatch?”

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Mom, she’s taking my picture.”

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“This fish won’t fit down my throat.”

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“I know this isn’t a baby bird, but this ball is so soft to cuddle with.”

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“Don’t eat me.” says the fish.

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A people eye view of the skimmers nesting on the sand.

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The birds are surrounded by ropes and there are signs all over the area to keep people from trampling through the nesting area.

More shots from my visit with the black skimmer colony on the beach back in late June.

One last look at skimmers for the summer

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Soon the black skimmers will be hard to find for the winter. These were all taken back in late July at Fort Desoto. They were hanging around the beach near the fishing pier.

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They look so graceful when they are skimming.

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Scratching an itch.

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Taking a bath.

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Splashing around.

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Drying off.

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Showing off for the laughing gull. “My wings are bigger than yours.”

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Out on the water trying to scoop up some bait fish.

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They were all busy skimming for fish.

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I was standing on the pier taking these pictures and a guy asked me what kind of birds these were. I said “They were skimmers.” He said “Why do they call them skimmers.” I politely explained that they skim the top of the water for fish but really, do they need an explanation if you see them in action?

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for