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9

Eurasian Oystercatcher

(Haematopus ostralegus)
Alternate name(s): "Common Pied Oystercatcher", "Palaearctic Oystercatcher",
"White-breasted Oystercatcher", "Black-and-white Osytercatcher", "Oystercatcher"
German name(s): "Austernfischer"

Size: 40-45 cm, incl. bill (6.5-9 cm); wing span 80-85 cm
Weight: 480 g (average)

Similar
species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Eurasian Oystercatcher at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "ostralegus"

ADULT

Sex unknown

BREEDING

Frontal view of an adult Eurasian Oystercatcher (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Skjervoy, near Tromso, Norway, June 2018]

Near-frontal view of a Eurasian Oystercatcher (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Neuharlingersiel, Ostfriesland, Germany, June 2021]

Near-lateral view of a Eurasian Oystercatcher (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Skjervoy, near Tromso, Norway, June 2018]

Lateral view of a Eurasian Oystercatcher (photo courtesy of G. Normand)
[Concorneau, Bretagne, France, August 2020]

Lateral view of a Eurasian Oystercatcher foraging in a meadow (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Neuharlingersiel, Ostfriesland, Germany, June 2021]

NON-BREEDING

PAIR

Near-dorsal view of a pair of Eurasian Oystercatchers in non-breeding plumage taking off; note the white half-collars (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Sado estuary, Portugal, January 2023]

Sex unknown

Lateral view of a Eurasian Oystercatcher in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Salinas do Forte do Rato, Tavira, Faro, Algarve, Portugal, September 2020]

Eurasian Oystercatchers in non-breeding plumage in their winter quarters (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Salinas do Forte do Rato, Tavira, Faro, Algarve, Portugal, September 2020]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-dorsal view of 3 Eurasian Oystercatchers, possibly a family; the bird on the left is a sub-adult - note the dark tip of the bill; based on the length and thickness of the bill, the bird at the centre is a male, the one on the right a female; while the female is still in non-breeding plumage, the male is losing its white half-collar, moulting into breeding plumage
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Sado estuary, Portugal, January 2023]

Near-dorsal view of a male Eurasian Oystercatcher, right, with a sub-adult - note the dark tip of the bill
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Sado estuary, Portugal, January 2023]

Lateral view of a juvenile Eurasian Oystercatcher (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Near Wadebridge, Cornwall, England, September 2019]

Distant near-lateral view of a juvenile Eurasian Oystercatcher spending the breeding season in winter quarters
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Caminha, Viana do Castelo, Portugal, July 2020]

Eurasian Oystercatcher with a chick starting to grow its juvenile plumage (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Spiekeroog, Ostfriesland, Germany, June 2021]

Pair of Eurasian Oystercatchers with a young chick (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Neuharlingersiel, Ostfriesland, Germany, June 2021]

Eurasian Oystercatcher with a young chick (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Neuharlingersiel, Ostfriesland, Germany, June 2021]

Near-frontal view of a Eurasian Oystercatcher chick (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Neuharlingersiel, Ostfriesland, Germany, June 2021]

Lateral view of a Eurasian Oystercatcher chick (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Neuharlingersiel, Ostfriesland, Germany, June 2021]

Lateral view of a Eurasian Oystercatcher chick (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Neuharlingersiel, Ostfriesland, Germany, June 2021]

Near-dorsal view of a Eurasian Oystercatcher chick (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Neuharlingersiel, Ostfriesland, Germany, June 2021]

Near-dorsal view of a Eurasian Oystercatcher with its chick (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Neuharlingersiel, Ostfriesland, Germany, June 2021]

Race "longipes"

Photos of a Eurasian Oystercatcher, race "longipes", were taken by us in Oman.

Behaviour

Outside their breeding season, Eurasian Oystercatchers are highly gregarious. Although by the early 2020ies considered near-threatened, they can still congregate in significant numbers.

Part of a flock of Eurasian Oystercatchers, with about 340 individuals (plus some smaller waders) visible in this composite image; a separate photo taken on the same occasion shows another at least 400 individuals, leading to a total of at least about 750 individuals (photos courtesy of C. Pears)
[Knott End, Lancashire, England, September 2023]

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