The American Oystercatcher Bird Facts

  • Category:
  • Family:
  • 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.


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.

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