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I Mean Business... - Oyster Catcher - NZ

AndreaEL

Gore, New Zealand

Artist's Description

I Mean Business… – Oyster Catcher

The Variable Oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor) is a species of wader in the Haematopodidae family. It is endemic to New Zealand. The Maori name is torea-pango. They are also known as ‘red bills’ . They feed on molluscs, crabs and marine worms. After heavy rain, they sometimes go inland in search of earthworms. They can open a shellfish by either hammering a hole in it or getting the bill between the two shells (of a bivalve) and twisting them apart. They breed in North Island, South Island, Stewart Island, and Chatham Islands. They do not breed inland or beside rivers. One amazing fact about this oystercatcher in particular is that it is the only oystercatcher that is polymorphic. Polymorphic meaning it has different genetic variants. This oystercatcher’s plumage can range in colour from pied to black. They are most often all black, but upon close inspection you will notice white specks on the underbelly, and white plumage under the wings. The variable oystercatcher feeds mostly on molluscs, worms, crabs and small sea insects. They are found all over New Zealand, except the outlying islands. The variable oystercatcher inhabits mainly the sandy or rocky coastlines and establishes this as its own territory. This species of bird is endemic to New Zealand, meaning it is not found anywhere else in the world. They are also considered to be a threatened species. We came across a pair of Oyster catchers nesting, they were not very happy, but it was worth a few shots…
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Catlins New Zealand Jan 2012
FEATURED: GEMS

I Mean Business… – Oyster Catcher


FEATURED JAN 2012

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