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American Oystercatcher

From Opus

Photo by gigo Fort Myers Beach, Florida, USA
Photo by gigo
Fort Myers Beach, Florida, USA
Haematopus palliatus


[edit] Identification

Juvenile, Nominate subspeciesPhoto by Luis RAlgarrobo Beach, V Region, Chile, February 2018
Juvenile, Nominate subspecies
Photo by Luis R
Algarrobo Beach, V Region, Chile, February 2018

L. 17-21 in (43-53 cm)

  • Large, stocky shorebird
  • Boldly patterened in blackish brown and white
  • Long red bill
  • Pale pink legs and feet
  • Bold white wing patches in flight
  • Eye yellow, surrounded by a red ring

[edit] Distribution

Seacoasts and islands of U.S. to southern South America.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Photo by Rodrigo Reyes Mantagua, Chile, September 2006
Photo by Rodrigo Reyes
Mantagua, Chile, September 2006

There are 2 subspecies1:

  • H. p. palliatus:
  • H. p. galapagensis:

Additional subspecies prattii, durnfordi, pitanay and frazari are generally considered invalid2.

[edit] Habitat

Marshes and wetlands, coastal desert and pebbly beaches, mudflats and shellbars' Sandy and pebbly beaches, mudflats, borders of salt marshes. 1

[edit] Behaviour

Congregate into large flocks in winter and on migration.

[edit] Diet

They specialise in shellfish, using their beak to break open the shells. They also eat worms and insects.

[edit] Breeding

Two to four buffy eggs, with sparse brown markings, are laid in a shallow depression lined with shell fragments.

[edit] Vocalisation

A high whistle, usually given in flight

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. enature

[edit] External Links


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