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15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Affection

This is my favorite black skimmer photo that I have taken in all the years following a little-known colony. Every year I select a nest when the parent is on eggs, then follow that same nest until they fledge. I choose one nest because colonies are chaotic; you will miss some shots by pointing the lens at hundreds of birds. One morning I got into position and lay there for an hour until sunrise when a parent flew in directly to feed the baby. The baby was inches away from me, so I couldn’t get the feeding photo. However, after the baby gobbled down the fish, I captured it running up to the parent and displaying the behavior pictured.

This photo is a finalist in the Natural World category of our 15th Annual Photo Contest. See all 60 finalists here.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2016
Date Uploaded: 07.2017
Photo Location: Florida, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS 5DS R
Copyright: © Thomas Chadwick
Awards
Photo of the Day: 07.17.17
Editor's Pick
Finalist