American Oystercatcher
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General description.

The American Oystercather is easily spotted walking or running swiftly along sandy beaches and tidal flats foraging for food, due to its bright colored bill, which is sharp and chisel-tipped for opening bivalved molluses. It has three slightly webbed toes, short neck, broad tail and pointed wings, which reveal a white stripe in flight. Outside the breeding season and during migration, the Oystercatcher is gregarious and congregates in large flocks (sometimes in the thousands).

Juvenile appearance.

Buff edged feathers and dusky orange bill with a dark tip. Doesn't breed until its fourth year.

Breeding habits.

The American Oystercatcher breeds along the temperate zones of the East Coast of the United States, moving south in the winter. Oystercatchers of both sexes conduct an elaborate "piping ceremony" thought to assist in identification and formation of pairs.

Calls or song.

The American Oystercatcher verbalizes by issuing a loud, clear "wheeep".

Population and distribution.

The American Oystercatcher can also be found in the Aleutians and from Iceland to Cape Horn. Their numbers are fairly numberous.

Nesting habits.

The American Oystercatchers build a ground scaped nest, which they enhance with stones, shells and bones. They lay 2-4 yellowish eggs, marked with brown and black. Both male and female incubate for 26-27 days.

Similar birds:

Black Oystercatcher Photo Black Oystercatcher
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