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Alternative name: African Black Oystercatcher
Length 42-45 cm, mass 582-835 g. Females larger than males. Adult: Black with an orange-red bill, red eyes, an orange eye ring and pink legs and feet. Immatures: Duller than adults, bill and eyes brown, eye ring narrow and legs and feet grey.
Rocky shores and sandy beaches; sometimes estuaries, lagoons and coastal pans.
Forages in the intertidal zone, mainly for limpets and mussels; feeds both at night and during the day. Usually forages in pairs or small groups, and roosts communally.
Breeding: The nest is a scrape in the ground above the high-water mark (but usually within 30 m thereof). One to three eggs are laid September to April.
 Conservation Status
Classified as Near-threatened in the 2007 IUCN Red List (BirdLife International, 2007): Human disturbance (on the mainland) and introduced predators and diseases (on islands) are the main threats to this species which is present in relatively low numbers (about 6000 individuals) and has a low rate of reproduction.
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