Nonbreeding Black Skimmer

Black Skimmer in nonbreeding plumageBlack Skimmer in nonbreeding plumage – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 310mm, natural light

When I did my post the other day on “Missing Fort De Soto” I found this Black Skimmer image in my archives while looking for photos to put in that post and wanted to share it. I hadn’t edited it and I don’t think I have ever posted a Black Skimmer in nonbreeding plumage, this one looks a bit tattered but it is in molt. The back of the neck is now white but a few weeks after I took this image the neck would have been as dark as the feathers on the skimmer’s head.

Some photographers might not have bothered to take this image because the Black Skimmer is on a mud flat and some people find that to be an unappealing setting, my thoughts on that are that I like to take photos of birds in their natural habitat no matter where that might be. As far as I can tell the skimmer didn’t care.

I have been having problems with my blog lately, I know there have been times it won’t load or when you haven’t been able to comment, I am working on getting this site migrated to a more reliable hosting provider.  Even replying to your comments has been a time consuming process so I am behind. Thank you all for your patience.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. This post reminds me of the admonition to be happy where you are planted. With a bird, I think it pays to be happy with the bird’s location when it plants itself where it is happy. I like this photo a lot. :-)

  2. A lovely shot of a very strange looking bird, I hope I get to see one one day though I probably get one of the strange moments I get when I’m over-awed by what I’m seeing and I forget to press the shutter button.

  3. Ditto on the natural habitat setting. Just how it would look if I were there. Thanks for posting this nice image Mia. I like how his ‘cap’ hides his eyes.

  4. I agree with you about capturing a bird in its natural habitat! After all an image telling the story of the bird – the good, the bad, the beautiful and the not so pretty!

    Sometimes, when I go to your web-site it loads very slowly. Hope you get the issues resolved!

  5. An incredible looking bird – thank you.

  6. It’s one of your birds that I’d love to see in action. I have part of a day in San Francisco on my way to Costa Rica in mid January and was hoping they might be around then, but after looking at E-bird reports it doesn’t seem likely, so seeing yours, even moulting and on a mud flat, is the next best thing! Thanks.

  7. One of my favorite birds, love the skimmers. Great shot, Mia!

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