© Blair Witherington
The Black Skimmer is a distinctive-looking tern with a unique knife-like bill and foraging technique. Skimmers are the only birds in the world with a lower mandible longer than the upper. Skimmers can be seen in bays, rivers, salt marshes and other estuarine environments, dragging their lower mandible in the water to catch fish and crustaceans. Black Skimmers are relatively easy birds to find year-round along both Florida coasts and at some inland sites as well (especially in southern Florida in winter). Approximately 50% of the state population nests along the central Gulf Coast. Black Skimmers and other shorebirds are particularly sensitive to human disturbance since environmental conditions on beaches are already harsh and unpredictable. Learn more about how you can help to protect nesting Black Skimmers.
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Skimmers can be seen in bays, rivers, salt marshes and other estuarine environments. They also nest on gravel rooftops.