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American Oystercatcher - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 18:15, 23 October 2023 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links)
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Photo © by gigo
Fort Myers Beach, Florida, USA
Haematopus palliatus


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


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



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.


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


Congregate into large flocks in winter and on migration.


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


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


A high whistle, usually given in flight


  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 http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1