Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Aves
Family – Laridae
Genus – Rynchops
Length – 36 – 42 cm
Wingspan – 106 cm
Weight – 111 – 204 g
The African skimmer is a skimmer that lives in the Senegal to northern Congo River and southern Nile Valley, southern Tanzania to the Zambezi Valley, and then to Natal and Angola.
The skimmers have very long wings, the back, hind neck and crown are black in color.
The skimmer fore head and the rest of the body are white in color with bright long orange beak, the beak end with a yellow tip.
The short forked tail is white and the legs of skimmer are bright red. The average size of the skimmer birds are about 15 inches long. The skimmers have sharp voice that hears like “kip-kip”. The structure is very unique and the mandible size differed. The upper mandible is smaller than the lower mandible and it have flattened sideways like scissor blades.
The African skimmer inhabits broad rivers, coastal lagoons, open marshes & lakes, resting & breeding on large, dry sandbars & beaches
The African skimmers fly in lines over calm waters. The lower mandibles dip in water to feed and when the mandible touches a fish, the skimmer snaps its mouth shut. The skimmers are feed mostly at dawn and dusk.