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Hybrid American-Black Oystercatcher

Haematopus palliatus x Haematopus bachmani

Along the Pacific coast of Baja California, where the ranges of Black Oystercatchers and American Oystercatchers overlap, hybridization will occur. Looking more like the American Oystercatcher than the Black, the black feathers “dripping” onto the white breast of the hybrid birds can separate them from the clean bib of the pure American Oystercatchers.

In the early 20th century, these birds were nearly collected to death and extirpated from the region. Gradually the populations seem to have recovered and stabilized. Now these birds are more common again.

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