Many of the same techniques I used to photograph the Blue Angels worked well during a morning session with the Black Skimmers. Aperture was wide at f5.6, and a fast shutter speed of 1/1600 allowed me to freeze the action. The light was low, so I had to crank up the ISO to 800. All shots were tripod mounted and I also used a Cable Release. Canon 40D and Canon 400mm. I also used the Zoom H2 to record the sounds of the Black Skimmer. It's a short thirty second clip. (Requires Quicktime Player) This is only the second time I've tried embedding sound into a blog post. Please let me know if you experience any technical difficulty playing the track. Thanks!
This behavior is why the bird is called the Black Skimmer.
You can see the golden light of sunrise in the birds feathers.
It was very early in the morning, but well worth it!
This Skimmer dove between the waves as the tide rose.
The Skimmer has a wide wingspan of approximately 44".
An iPhone snap of the signage on the beach. The Black Skimmer is not endangered, but is classified as a "Species of Special Concern" by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
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