Black Skimmer Mating Rituals

Yesterday I had the opportunity to travel to the Gulf Coast and visit a Black Skimmer colony. Black Skimmers are a species of concern, so the roosting area is roped off in an attempt to keep people away from the birds so that they will be successful in raising their chicks. You can learn more about Black Skimmers here.

Black Skimmers nest in tighly-packed colonies right on the beach which makes it ideal for photographers watch the birds from outside the rope as they perform their courtship rituals. Part of the ritual is for the male to bring back a fish and offer it to the female. If the female accepts the fish, then the birds will mate and most likely raise a brood. By bringing a fish to the female, the male is proving his ability to provide for the hungry chicks once they arrive.

Some males quickly learn that the fastest way to a female’s heart is a nice big juicy needle fish. Click an image to view larger.

Now THAT's a Fish!

But some females let their mates know that sometimes, size doesn’t matter. It’s the thought that counts.

Oh How Cute!

However, there are a few males that never seem to get it right.

Seriously?? That's the best you can do?

I’m not holding out a lot of hope for this couple.

Within the human species, some women may see a correlation between the Black Skimmers and their own relationships.