American Oystercatcher

Haematopus palliatus

This large black and white shorebird has a bright orange bill yellow eye which makes it stand out on the beach. Closer up the American Oystercatcher has brown wings and back, a black head and breast and white underparts. Oystercatchers probe the shore with their bills for clams, marine worms and mole crabs. These birds will return to their nesting areas at the end of april, beginning of may and the females will select nest sites vegetation along barrier beaches. Their nest is simply a scrape in the sand in which they will lay 2-4 eggs which are incubated for 24-28 days. Once the chicks hatch they are coordinated enough to leave the nest within one day of hatching.