The American Oystercatcher Bird Facts

  • Category:
    Oystercatchers
  • Family:
    Haematopodidae
  • Scientific Name:
    Haematopus palliatus
  • Length:
    40 - 44 cm (15.7 - 17.3 in)
American Oystercatcher in Galapagos

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.

Identification:

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.

Voice:

A distinctive, shrill piping "kket".

Behavior:

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

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