African Skimmer | Rynchops flavirostris
The African Skimmer is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Laridae bird family group which includes birds such as Typical Shrikes.
The description for the African Skimmer (Latin name Rynchops flavirostris) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Rynchops flavirostris can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 343 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 437. You will find a picture of the African Skimmer on page 417.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the African Skimmer between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The African Skimmer has a height of 42 cms and weighs around 205 gms. The head is coloured black, brown while the bill is coloured orange. The Rynchops flavirostris has a white coloured throat, vermilion legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is black, brown
Eyes are brown
Bill is orange
Legs are vermilion
Throat is white
Back is black
Feeding Habits ...
This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.
This bird is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that?s when the prey comes out in the open.
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The African Skimmer is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured brown.
The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.
The African Skimmer is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.
The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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