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PIC OF THE WEEK: 01/07/08 • PREVIOUS WEEKNEXT WEEKALL 2008 PICS

Bird Pic Of The Week

Black Skimmer

(Rynchops niger)

Where: Outer Banks, NC • Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)

Notes: The first glimpse of this unique foot and a half long waterbird working its way up the beach in the shallows of the surf brought back memories of my youth. Many years ago as an early teen on my first birding trip to the coast ever, I had hoped to see one of these unique avian fishers. I had intensely studied my bird book before that maiden trip to Cape Romain (NWR) in South Carolina and the Black Skimmer was high on my wish list. We had hardly left the dock that morning on the boat ride to the refuge, when a "Skimmer" flew parallel to the boat dragging only its extra long lower mandible (beak) in the smooth water along the shoals. This was the most amazing technique for catching small fish I had ever seen! The slow shallow rhythm of its four foot wing span kept it gliding just above the surface. This bird's lower jaw is hinged, so if it collides with something solid under the surface of the water while fishing, its lower beak will simply fold back.

Shot in the late morning so I had to stand in the ocean to get the sun to my back. Abundant light allowed both for high shutter speed needed to freeze the action and a small enough aperture to allow sufficient focal length.

Small Bird Photo 1

iPhotoBirds Print Black Skimmer (BLSK-H-1919)

Archival quality fine art print, standard size for easy framing, hand signed by the artist, with white matte, backing board and clear protective cover. Image cropping may vary slightly depending on print size.
Print Size: 5" x 7" (with 8" x 10" Matte) . . . $20.00
Print Size: 8" x 10" (with 11" x 14" Matte) . . . $40.00
Print Size: 11" x 14" (with 16" x 20" Matte) . . . $75.00

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Equipment: Canon EOS D20 • Canon 100-400mm Zoom L Series Lens • Hand Held

Exposure: Shutter Speed = 1/4000 second • Aperture = f 8.0 • Exposure Mode = Aperture Priority • Focus Mode: Ai Servo • Lens (Focal) Length = 285 mm • ISO = 400 • Aprox. Camera Distance = ~25 Feet • Date Shot: 06-25-07

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