Pied Oystercatcher

Robert Abraham

Purmerend, Netherlands

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Artist's Description

This species is not to be confused with the Eurasian oystercatcher (a.k.a. “common pied oystercatcher”).

The Pied Oystercatcher, Haematopus longirostris, is a species of oystercatcher. It is a wading bird native to Australia and commonly found on its coastline. The similar South Island Pied Oystercatcher (H. finschi) occurs in New Zealand.

The name “oystercatcher” is something of a misnomer for this species, because they seldom eat oysters, which are found mainly on rocky coastlines. Pied Oystercatchers frequent sandy coastlines, where they feed mainly on bivalve molluscs, which are prised apart with their specially adapted bill.

This Australian species is easily recognized by the characteristic 5–8 cm long orange-red beak, slender pink legs and black and white plumage. With the wings extended, a white wing-stripe is also visible. The male and female show little differentiation, except that the males generally have a shorter, wider beak.

Lower King, Albany in Western Australia

Canon 7D, 100-400 mm canon lens

Artwork Comments

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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