Relaxed Black Skimmer chickResting Black Skimmer juvenile – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 330mm, natural light

Several people have remarked on how much they like the resting Black Skimmer juvenile image that is was in my rotating banner at the top of this blog so I thought I would post it to show the whole bird.  Composition is always a challenge when photographing skimmers because their bodies are so long so I went with a pano crop for this one.

I saw this resting juvenile at Fort De Soto’s north beach and laid down in the sand quite a way from it then slowly sand crawled forward so I wouldn’t disturb the youngster or upset its parents. When I say slowly I mean about 10 – 15 minutes of inching forward as low to the sand as I could get. I try to never get so close that I bother the birds, especially with chicks. When I finished photographing the chick I did a backwards sand crawl and left them in peace.

The immature skimmer seemed so comfortable with my low profile that it fell asleep and only got up when the adults came in to feed it. I felt very privileged to photograph this bird. I am not sure my images do its beauty justice .