17 June 2008

Skimmers Nesting at Santa Rosa

I've been seeing Skimmers (Rhynchops niger)in the Santa Rosa area for about two weeks, but today was the first time I thought there might be nests.

The were sitting quietly, til I drove up in my loud ATV.

Once they flew up, I was pretty certain they had eggs.

Here they are... a lot like all the other eggs I've posted here, but they're bigger, almost the size of chicken eggs. The nests are pretty plain, just little depressions in the sand. No wonder they nest in colonies -- that group defense is necessary!

Like killdeer, plovers and other ground nesting species, skimmers also pretend to have a broken wing, or wings to lure you away from their eggs or chicks, and towards them.

They fly at your head too, just like least terns. These birds may have tiny brains, but they use them, and their instincts, to great advantage. If only we all were so adept at using the gifts we're given...

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International Coastal Clean-Up!

The 2008 Coastal Clean-Up on Santa Rosa Island was a great success, but we can work together to make everyday a Coastal Clean-up Day... Help us keep our beaches beautiful!

For details on the 2009 coastal clean-up efforts in Pensacola or in your area, or other ways you can help, click here.

Hello World!

Hello World!
Which way to the sea?