Courting Black Skimmers on North Beach, Fort De Soto

/, Black Skimmers, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County/Courting Black Skimmers on North Beach, Fort De Soto

Courting Black SkimmersCourting Black Skimmers – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 280mm, natural light

On a hazy, windy day in May of 2008 I was able to sand crawl on my belly close enough to some Black Skimmers to watch and photograph them courting. The strong wind blew the stinging sand onto my skin but the skimmers seemed to ignore it and they also seemed to ignore me, I was mostly hidden by a small sand dune which may have helped to put the skimmers at ease.

Most Black Skimmer copulations occur at night so seeing this pre-copulatory display during the day was a treat. Typically the male brings a fish to the female and then the female crouches to signal to the male that she is receptive. I didn’t see the male bring in a fish to this female but I had been photographing other skimmers that were near by so I may have missed that. Although this female signaled that she was receptive one of the other nearby skimmers interrupted this pair and they did not mate while I photographed them.

Even though I wasn’t able to photograph this pair mating I was happy to have recorded even this much of their courtship display.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover November 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    A rare image of this interesting courtship display. Thanks for the work then and now.

  2. Patty Chadwick November 29, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I love their colors!

  3. Esther Iglich November 29, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Beautiful shots!

  4. Bob mcpherson November 29, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Very cool photo, Mia. Mother Nature’s splendor is always beautiful.

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