Tuesday, May 12, 2009

#8 Black Skimmer vs #9 American Oystercatcher

Black Skimmer

  • The Black Skimmer is the only representative of the skimmer family that lives in the Americas.
  • Skimmers us touch while foraging for food which allows them to be feed in low or no light situations.
  • When they hatch, the mandibles are of equal length but when the fledge four weeks later, the lower mandible is already 1 cm longer.
  • The Black Skimmer is the only bird in the United States that has a longer lower mandible than upper one.
  • The development of beachfront property poses a big threat to the nesting success of Black Skimmers.

Click here to view more information on Black Skimmers.

For pictures of Black Skimmers, click here.

American Oystercatcher

  • American Oystercatchers use their long blade-like bills to severe the adductor muscles of mussels before they can close their shells.
  • Adults use broken shells and pebbles to conceal their eggs in the nest.
  • Young are able to run around after just 24 hours but are unable to open bivalve shells until they are 2 months old.
  • Oystercatchers have returned to New England where they were extirpated due to market hunting and egg collecting.
  • Like Black Skimmers, they are severely threatened due to beachfront development.

Click here to view more information on American Oystercatchers.

For pictures of American Oystercatchers, click here.

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