African skimmer
African skimmer
Skimmers have very long wings, back, hindneck and crown jet black; fore head and underparts white.They are social birds, nesting in colonies and usually roosting with gulls and terns, but they forage alone or in small parties. They are closely related to gulls and terns; Most found in tropical rivers and lakes with sandy beaches and coastal lagoons.

African Skimmers has bright orange-red bills with yellow tip, of which the lower mandible is much longer than the upper one. This modification makes it possible for these birds to ‘skim’ the water while flying low over the surface, snatching up food, such as small surface fish... African skimmers are most active at dusk. 


These birds are highly gregarious, flying in flocks of up to 20 or more. They usually roost on sandbanks in the sun, facing the wind. They are very wary and unapproachable on foot, but with a boat one can come quite close at times. When disturbed, they fly off with leisurely wingbeats, giving their typical kik-kik-kik call.  They’re classified as an endangered species on the red data list.

Source of information: Collins Guide to African Wildlife



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