The black skimmer is one of the most recognizable Florida birds. With dark black wings and a bright orange beak its look is almost as unique as its foraging style.
The skimmer, as its name suggests, flies low along coastal beaches (most notably Marco Island in Southwest Florida. Skimmers dip their beaks in the water hoping to catch fish. The black skimmer is the only American bird in the skimmer family, which includes the Indian skimmer and the African skimmer.
Black skimmers are not protected by the federal government, but Florida recognizes them as a threatened species due to habitat loss. The birds nest on sandy beaches that are popular with tourists – including Tigertail Beach on Marco Island, which blocks off sections of the beach to allow for the nests.
These large, successful nesting colonies are likely to return year after year.
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