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Black Oystercatcher

Haematopus bachmani


These are black shorebirds with a large reddish orange bill and pink legs. It has a bright yellow iris and a red eye-ring. They can be quite noisy and can be herd over the crashing waves in this video:


Spotted foraging on a rocky shoreline at West Point in Deception Pass State Park. On Whidbey Island in Washington State. They eat mostly mussels, limpets, other shellfish. Diet varies with place and season, but feeds mostly on mussels where they are abundant; also limpets, whelks, urchins, crabs, marine worms, beetle larvae. Young birds, newly independent, may eat fewer mussels at first, perhaps lacking the skill to open them. The Black Oystercatcher can be found on the west coast of North America, especially where the shoreline is rocky. They usually mate for life. Their nest are almost always on islands.


Although the species is not considered threatened, its global population size is estimated between 8,900–11,000 individuals. The black oystercatcher is a species of high conservation concern throughout its range (U.S., Canadian, Alaskan, and Northern & Southern Pacific Shorebird Conservation Plans), a keystone indicator species along the north Pacific shoreline, a management indicator species in the Chugach National Forest, and a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service focal species for priority conservation action.

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Washington, USA

Lat: 48.40, Long: -122.67

Spotted on Dec 8, 2018
Submitted on Dec 14, 2018

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