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Indian Skimmer - UPSC Current Affairs

The Indian skimmer is a brightly colored bird species found in southern Asia, characterized by its unique bill where the lower mandible is longer than the upper mandible. They are declining in numbers and are mainly found in rivers and estuaries.

Jan 12, 2023

2 min read

The Indian skimmer, also known as the Indian scissors-bill, is a bird species that is patchily distributed in southern Asia and has been declining in numbers. They are characterized by their bright black, white, and orange coloring, as well as their unique bill where the lower mandible is longer than the upper mandible.




They are usually found in rivers or estuaries, and are most common in freshwater during the breeding season. They feed mainly on fish but also take small crustaceans and insect larvae, often foraging in small flocks and associating with terns. The breeding season is mainly March and May and they breed in colonies of up to 40 pairs, often with terns and other birds. The nest is a simple scrape on the ground mainly on open sand banks that provide unobstructed views of any oncoming predators.


The Indian skimmer is considered an important species for conservation efforts, with breeding colonies known from the Chambal river area, an area that is of importance for the gharial. They have also been documented as breeding on the banks of the Mahanadi river at the Munduli barrage, Chandaka Wildlife Division in Cuttack. Image: Wikidata

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