Tuesday, August 27, 2013

American Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus

American Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus
At our first morning visit to Nickerson, we we went down to the shoreline and started photographing American Oystercatchers.  It was too late in the year to get photographs of American Oystercatchers chicks, but there were juvenile American Oystercatcher present.  The Oystercatchers were not really bothered by people, the reason for this probably is that Nickerson is a public beach and there are lots of crowds around and the birds have gotten used to people.

Here are some facts about the American Oystercatcher.  The American Oystercatcher is the largest shorebird in the Americas.  Its range is along the Atlantic and Pacific Coast of North America and Central America: ranging from New England states in the East, South to the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America and from Mexico and the West, south through Costa Rica and Panama to southern Chile.  Some of the more northern populations migrates southward and winter in Northern Virginia and South Carolina.  The American Oystercatcher habitat is that of coastal regions and extremely really will be found in land.  The American Oystercatcher feeds by probing into the soft substrate along mudflats and sandbars and feed on oysters, mussels, clams and limpets also including snails and crabs.
American Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus Blur

American Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus Adult and Juvenile Probing for Food

American Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus Close-Up of Adults Head

American Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus Wing Flap

American Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus Wing Flap

American Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus Juvenile walking along the shore at dawn.  Notice the black tip to it's bill compared to the adult


At Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary.  Each year 1 to 2 pairs of American Oystercatchers nest and produce young.  However, these Oystercatchers are skittish and hard to photograph.