This is the time of year to watch for flocks of skimmers. They assemble in great numbers in the lagoons of Galveston's East Beach and the Bolivar Flats during winter months. The long red bill makes them stand out from other gulls. Also, the bottom part of the bill is longer than the top, a unique feature that helps them scoop fish from the water's surface.

When photographing skimmers, I prefer a low-angle approach as it showcases their cartoonish appearance best. Compared to other gulls of the tern families, skimmers are quite relaxed and it is fairly easy to photograph a flock.

(1) comment

Steve Fouga

These birds can sometimes be seen skimming for fish in the Pier 19 area at night.

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