Conservation & environment

Sitting Skimmers

14 July 2014

A little bit of a gap in the morning and we decided to hop on the boat and go for a walk on an island sandbank. We were met by an unhappy African Skimmer who was calling and circling us. We knew there were babies around but where were they.

So we were searching all over but could see absolutely nothing. Until Hamza said, 'look down'...we thought he was joking at first.

Can you see it?

Take a closer look...

They lie extremely flat, digging a small hole into the sand. They even flick sand onto their backs with their wings to cover up even more.

You can see the famous Skimmer bill forming here with the lower mandible extending beyond that of the upper mandible. These little guys were at fledgling stage and have a few developed flight feathers and they can fly for very short distances, but really they are 'sitting ducks' and maybe a change in that saying to sitting Skimmers is a good fit for when you are on Safari here with us.

We were then lucky to spot this little nest right out in the open with 3 Skimmer eggs...hopefully Mum will be back to shade them from the hot sun soon.

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