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American Oystercatcher

Haematopus bachmani

The American Oystercatcher is found in North America along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts in the east, and on the Pacific coast of Mexico. In South America they are found on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, south of the equator.

Oystercatchers make a living scouring rocky shorelines for mostly invertebrate prey. Mollusks comprise the greater portion of their food. Their bills are especially effective at prying univalves from the surface of the marine rocks, and from opening the shels of bivalves. The first European to report these birds to science was Mark Catesby in 1731 (read of him <Here>), when he saw one of these birds foraging on oysters; hence the name.

On my trip to the Revillagigedos I had my best chance to meet this bird, but I only saw my first one at distance. I had better meetings with American-Black Oystercatcher hybrids, which look mostly like this bird, but with black feathers “dripping” onto the white breast. Then in March 2020, while aboard another boat, this time looking for Whooping Cranes, I met another. I’m still unsatisfied with my images of this bird. Maybe someday I’ll get another opportunity and get better results.

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