Galapagos American Oystercatcher Facts

Name: American Oystercatcher Bird
Family: Haematopodidae
Scientific name: Haematopus palliatus
Length: 40 - 44 cm (15.7 - 17.3 in)
Weight: 14.1-24.7 oz (400-700 g)
Clutch Size: ‎2-4 eggs

Category: Shore Birds
Number of Species: 28
Endemic Species: 19

In total, 21 species of water birds have been recorded in Galapagos, 10 of which are endemic to the Islands. Thirty-Four species of shore birds have been recorded in Galapagos, only 2 of which are endemic.

Category: Oystercatchers
Oystercatchers are large shorebirds with medium-length legs and long, orange bills. The only species recorded in Galapagos, American Oystercatcher, has a distinctive black and white plumage. The sexes are alike.

The American Oystercatcher is an uncommon resident of the Islands: endemic subspecies galapagensis. Population probably numbers around 200 pairs and they are confined to rocky shores, sandy beaches and coastal lagoons. The American Oystercatcher breeds mainly from October and March.

A large, unmistakable wader with black head and neck, dark brown upper parts, white under parts, long orange bill and rather short, pink legs. In flight shows prominent white wing-bar and white rump contrasting with black rail.

A distinctive, shrill piping "kket".

Usually found in pairs and not afraid of humans. Commonly seen during a Galapagos cruise.

American Oystercatcher in the Galapagos Islands