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Published on Sep 3, 2013
While birding the Imperial Valley with Los Angeles Audubon Society we visited the Shank Road Wetlands east of Brawley which was very birdy, had numerous dragonflies and damselflies and held a few surprises. This was the first time I had encountered Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) at the project. Three individuals were present and were actively skimming. Black Skimmer are the only bird whose lower bill is longer than the upper and they feed by skimming the surface with their lower bill knifing the water and it snaps shut when it contacts small fish. Least Bittern were also very active and we saw numerous adults and young.