Scoop Of Black Skimmers Flying Past Shell Key

/, Black Skimmers, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County/Scoop Of Black Skimmers Flying Past Shell Key

A scoop of Black Skimmers flying past Shell KeyA scoop of Black Skimmers flying past Shell Key – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 270mm, natural light

I haven’t seen Black Skimmers in over six years now but in my mind I can still hear them calling when I look at my images of a group of them in flight. A group of skimmers can be called a “conspiracy”, “embezzlement”, and a “scoop”. I like scoop because they use their bills to scoop fish from the water.

The image above was taken from the northern most tip of  Fort De Soto County Park looking north to Shell Key. There was a sea fog that morning that was still hanging around in the trees on the key.

Black Skimmer skimming along north beachBlack Skimmer skimming along north beach – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/320, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 230mm, natural light

Black Skimmers are the only bird species in the U.S. that has a larger lower mandible than the upper mandible. As they skim along they drag their lower bill in the water and when they sense prey their bill snaps shut over the prey.

They are graceful, unique, colorful birds that fish during the day and night.

Life is good.



  1. Chris Rohrer October 28, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Fantastic looking birds. Very unusual in flight, feeding and appearance. Overall, they get get a cool factor of 10 in my book:)

  2. Deborah October 26, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Beautiful photograph!

  3. Elephant's Child October 26, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    An education for me – and a delight. Thank you.

  4. Utahbooklover October 26, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Nice image of the technique but it seems like a counterintuitive way to fish to me.

  5. Bob Mcpherson October 26, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia

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