African Skimmer (Rynchops flavirostris)

…a species of skimmer (Rynchopidae) that is native to Africa, where it occurs from Senegal to northern Congo River and southern Nile Valley, southern Tanzania to the Zambezi Valley, and then to KwaZulu-Natal Province and Angola. African skimmers are typically encountered near large tropical rivers with sandbanks, lake shores, and coastal lagoons. Like other skimmers, African skimmers fly over water to feed, using their longer lower mandible to scoop small fish and freshwater invertebrates into thier mouth.  


Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Charadriiformes-Rynchopidae-Rynchops-R. flavirostris

Image: Robert Muckley


Botany and Zoology

The Signature Of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert

It used to be that god was revealed in the wonders of nature; now God was being challenged by those same wonders. Scholars were now required to choose one side or the other.

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession, Susan Orlean

‘You’ll curse the insects,’ he said at least, 'and you’ll curse the natives… The sun will burn you by day and the cold will shrivel you by night. You’ll be racked by fever and tormented by a hundred discomforts, but you’ll go on. For when a man falls in love with orchids, he’ll do anything to possess the one he wants. It’s like chasing a green-eyed woman or taking cocaine… it’s a sort of madness…’

Under The Sea-Wind, Rachel Carson

With the dusk a strange bird came to the island from its nesting grounds on the outer banks. Its wings were pure black, and from tip to tip their spread was more than the length of a man’s arm. It flew steadily and without haste across the sound, its progress as measured and as meaningful as that of the shadows which little by little were dulling the bright water path. The bird was called Rynchops, the black skimmer.

King Solomon’s Ring, Konrad Lorenz

Without supernatural assistance, our fellow creatures can tell us the most beautiful stories, and that means true stories, because the truth about nature is always far more beautiful even than what our great poets sing of it, and they are the only real magicians that exist.

The Peregrine, J.A. Baker

No pain, no death, is more terrible to a wild creature than its fear of man.

My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Malcolm Durrell

Among the myrtles the mantids moved, lightly, carefully, swaying slightly, the quintessence of evil. They were lank and green, with chinless faces and monstrous globular eyes, frosty gold, with an expression of intense, predatory madness in them. The crooked arms, with their fringes of sharp teeth, would be raised in mock supplication to the insect world, so humble, so fervent, trembling slightly when a butterfly flew too close.

Black Skimmer ~ Schwarzmantel-Scherenschnabel ~ Rynchops niger 

Sandwich Tern ~ Brandseeschwalbe ~ Sterna sandvicensis, syn.: Thalasseus sandvicensis

Sandwich Terns and Black Skimmers flying together. I was so happy to find them. Check out the overall amazing Skimmers (beak, pupils, feeding techniques, …).

Fort De Soto Park, Florida, USA

2015 © Jesse Alveo ~ All rights reserved


Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) breeding season is getting started, currently there are courtship displays, mating, and nest building going on in the colony.

Please give nesting shorebirds space when visiting the beach, they are stressed enough with raising their young. I have a zoom lens and I cropped these photos. 

Lido Key Beach, FL