Black Skimmer Relaxing On South Beach

© Michael S. Lazarus

Black Skimmer Relaxing On South Beach

Uploaded: February 26, 2008


f/5.6, 1/1250, 70-300mmVR@300mm, DSC_7694, 9:00AM, ISO 200

Well finally, after countless mornings and many hundreds of shots, I'm proud to bring you this wondrous Black Skimmer in all his little glory. These birds are the only bird with a longer bottom beak than the top. If your not familiar with them, they use this arrangement to skim the waters surface in search of small fish. They can fish at night as they work by feel. It has been extremely difficult to get one isolated from the group enough to fill the frame with just one bird. They stay very close together on the sand and make a barking sound if I approach closer than 15'. They will quickly move back to keep this distance and the whole group will take-off if any sudden move startles them. Some of them have little ID bracelets around their ankles. Most of the time they just sit with their lower beak nestled in their back's feathers resting unless they sense danger or are preening themselves. Stay tuned for more..

Exif: F Number: 5.6, Exposure Bias Value: 0.00, ExposureTime: 1/1250 seconds, Flash: did not fire., ISO: 200, White balance: Auto white balance, FocalLength: 300.00 mm, Model: NIKON D40


Nikki McDonald level-classic February 26, 2008

Very nice capture, Michael--great detail and color here. I can see why you were thrilled to get this. Thanks for all the interesting information--especially about the beak. #864128

Mukesh Srivastava February 26, 2008

Wonderful capture Michael!!! I love details, selective focus and color. #5558915

Eivor Kuchta February 27, 2008

Hi Michael, I completely understand your thrill capturing this close up of this interesting bird. I got all excited yesterday coming very close to a sparrow with my 18-135 mm lens. You did a great job here, with the DOF, and the light. Thank you for sharing the facts, too! #5560951

Lynne Van Treeck February 27, 2008

What a beautiful bird. Great shot. #5561516

Michael S. Lazarus February 29, 2008

Thank you NIkki, Mukesh, Eivor, and Lynne. I especially appreciate that you like the story behind the image Nikki and Eivor as a lot of work goes into that as well. This bird has been a real challenge to capture in this environment for the reasons I stated above. Additionally, bringing out the detail in the birds eye/face was especially challenging. The black feathers (especially under the eye) makes it very difficult to get good detail there as in nearly all my shots, the eye gets lost in the shadows. Here however, the lighting and metering were just right as you can see the little sparkle in the eye (a little reward to let you know you got it right :-) ) #5571522

Gail R. Schuett February 29, 2008

What a great photo and a sweet looking bird!I have never seen nor heard of these Black Skimmers,but am now knowledgeable about them!! This would make a nice post card photo. Michael..just how long did you sit and wait?? Gail #5572609

Michael S. Lazarus March 01, 2008

Gail, Thanks for the comment. Regarding how long did I sit and wait; "countless mornings and many hundreds of shots"........... no exaggeration. (Of course I was shooting other birds and subjects out there too but these guys were indeed a riddle to figure out). #5577252

Robin Bailey March 01, 2008

What an excellant capture,Michael! Lighting,colors,details,POV,everything is just right.I love the story that presents this beauty! #5579127

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