I saw my first Black Skimmers back in April by Merritt Island. Although they had the expanse of the Indian River behind them, these birds were more interested in a puddle at a turnoff on the Max Brewer Bridge. We got to watch them do their thing – fly over the puddle with lower mandible dipped in the water.
It was very cool to see but also kind of hard to watch, because the water was so shallow and they would hit their beaks on the rough pavement below. It gave me goose bumps, and not in a good way, but it was fascinating how they would recover so quickly from each mini obstruction. Their heads would bend down ever so slightly with each hit, and then recover to a normal position. This all took place in a microsecond and multiple times during each pass over the puddle.
While interesting to watch, unfortunately I didn’t manage to take any pictures or video of this behavior. I found a clip on YouTube which shows the normal feeding behavior of these birds: Black Skimmers feeding. I hope you’ll enjoy this collection of photos that I did manage to capture.