African Skimmer (Rynchops flavirostris)

The African Skimmer (Rynchops flavirostris) is a skimmer that lives in Senegal to northern Congo River and southern Nile Valley, southern Tanzania to the Zambezi Valley, and then to Natal and Angola.


They have very long wings.

The back, hindneck, and crown are black. The forehead and rest of the body is white, with a bright, long, orange beak that ends with a yellow tip. Their short forked tail is white, and their legs are bright red.

They are 15 inches(18 centimeters) long.

Calls / Vocalization

Their voice is a sharp “kip-kip”.

Breeding / Nesting

They live in wide tropical rivers with sandbanks, lakeshores, and coastal lagoons. Pairs nest in loose colonies on large sandbanks, and lay 1-4 eggs in a large scrape.

Diet / Feeding

African Skimmers fly in lines over calm waters, and dip their lower beaks (mandibles) in the water to feed. It is rare to spot one in East African and South African parks.

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