Body length: 40 - 43 cm, Wingspan: 102 - 114 cm
Estimated at 6,000 - 10,000
Wide lowland rivers around lakes and marshes, and estuaries around along marine coasts
Dinner to go. The Indian skimmer scoops up small fish, crustaceans and other arthropods while flying low over the surface of the water. This unusual mode of dining is facilitated by a long lower mandible, which allows the bird to snap up choice entrees. Uniquely adapted eyes help, too, handling both nocturnal conditions and dazzling day light reflections. The skimmer is less successful at dealing with habitat loss and predation. Its natural reaction when approached is to lie low, flying away only at the last moment. But how much longer can it escape the dangers it faces?