Black Skimmers Along the Crystal Coast

The Black Skimmer is one of the more interesting birds found along the Core Banks barrier islands of the Crystal Coast. These interesting birds nest on sandy beaches and sand banks, laying three to seven eggs. The nest is tended by both the male and female. One of the more unique features of these birds is the longer lower mandible. The basil area of their bill is red with the remainder of it mostly black. The eye has a brown pupil and a very unique elongated, cat-like pupil. These birds feed by flying just above the water, dragging the elongated lower portion of their bill in the water with hopes of snagging a small fish. They tend to be solo feeders but frequently congregate in a large flock at high-tide when not feeding. Recently I’ve been seeing flocks with a hundred or more birds on the shoals during high-tide. It is quite a sight to see this many of these unsual birds in one place.

A Black Skimmer comes in for a landing on Bird Shoal.

When not feeding these interesting birds flock together in large numbers.

Black Skimmers get their name by how the feed.

A Black Skimmer launches into flight above a tidal marsh near Core Banks in North Carolina.

Black Skimmers can be found feeding all along North Carolina's Outer Banks.

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