click for info on pic Home Page Oystercatchers

Oystercatchers are found worldwide on all continents except Antarctica.

click for info on pic 2 species are found along Australians shoreline.

Both Species of Oystercatcher are noisy but wary shorebirds who though found all around Australia are more common in the south.

Feeding (both Species)
Their favourite food are mussels and limpets which they break open by 1 of 2 methods. Either using their sharp bills to prise open a crack or smashing the shell against a rock. They also eat other crustations and worms and other soft invertrabraes etc.


Sooty Oystercatcher taken by Soonlee Sooty Oystercatcher

Sooty Oystercatchers prefer rocky terrain, like exposed rock flats and ledges, reefs, and tidal rock pools.

The above picture comes from my mate Soonlee click for info on pic

Their feathers are all black. They have a red eye, eye-ring and bill. There legs though are more pinkish. Their length is around 500mm

Breeding click for info on pic
Between October and January (summer) the Sooty Oystercatcher breeds.
Their nest which is just a small scrape in sand nestled amongst rocks and sometimes lined with locally available vegetation, is built and defended by both the female and male. 2 eggs are normally laid.


Pied Oystercatcher

click for info on pic The Pied Oystercatcher much prefers sandy beaches, mud flats and estuaries. They use their long beak to probe the sand for its food, especially at low tide when the sand/mud flats are exposed. They can be found in especially in Tasmania (Southern Australia) in large flocks of 50 or so but elsewhere are found in smaller numbers usually on quiet beaches.

click for info on pic The Pied Oystercatcher is black with white markings on its belly, and under its tail feathers and has a white wing bar (see pic) Like the Sooty it has a red, eye, eye-ring and bill as well as pink legs.

Like the Sooty Oystercatcher they breed during early summer October to January
click for info on pic Their eggs are laid in a scrape in the sand between the high tide mark and the first lot of sand dunes The nest and the surrounding territory (approax 200 meters) is strongly defended by the parents The incubation period is thought to be 28 days They young stays with the parent for a couple of months or so after fledging

Birds of Britain - Oystercatcher
Australian Museum Online - Pied Oystercatchers

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