Not a Gull, Not a Tern: Black Skimmer

Photo of Black Skimmer

This July, I added three species to my bird Life List, including this striking Black Skimmer at Hills Beach in Biddeford, ME.  Black Skimmers regularly nest along the Atlantic coast from New York south and occasionally visit and even nest in New England.

Black Skimmers belong to the Laridae family (which also includes Gulls and Terns) and stand out from their relatives by their black-and-red mandibles of differing lengths.  As you watch the following short video, notice how compressed (width-wise) the mandibles are.

If the bird moved too quickly for you, here's a head-on freeze frame. How cool is that bill?

Photo of Black Skimmer head-on

A game of "Where's Skimmer?" wouldn't challenge many, but can you identify any of the other Laridae species in the following Hills Beach scene?

Photo of Black Skimmer with Terns and Gulls

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