Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Brazil; Canada; Cayman Islands; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dominica; . American Oystercatcher – Haematopus palliatus. American Golden Plover Characteristics Range Habitat Diet Life Cycle Behavior. Adult Description. Large shorebird. Black head. Large red bill. Back brown. Underside white. Stout legs, dull pink. Bold white stripe in wings and white rump .

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Breeding season These haemato;us breed from February through July. During the breeding season, the American oystercatcher can be found in coastal habitats including sand or shell beaches, dunes, salt marshes, marsh islands, mudflats, and dredge spoil islands made of sand or gravel.

Though American oystercatchers are typically monogamous, cases of polygamy have been documented in this species.

In other words, Central and South America. American oystercatchers feed mainly on marine invertebrates, bivalves, mollusks, worms, clams, crabs and shell fish. Neotropical living in the southern part of the New World.

A strong, tightly rooted mollusk can hold the bird in place until the tide comes in. It is the second largest ocean in the world after the Pacific Ocean. This species adapts well to dredge spoil islands, and is often the most common breeder in such locations.

The American oystercatcher Haematopus palliatusoccasionally called the American pied oystercatcheris a member of family Haematopodidae. Sex Roles in the American Oystercatcher. Classification Kingdom Animalia animals Animalia: One of the few birds to specialize on bivalve mollusks living in saltwater, this species is completely restricted to marine habitats. The female oystercatcher lays two to four eggs in a shallow depression lined with pieces of shell in a sandy dune or a on a salt marsh island.

The American oystercatcher feeds almost exclusively on shellfish and other marine invertebrates. It is inches in length.


American oystercatcher

New York, Boston, London: Both the male and the female incubate the eggs for days. American Oystercatcher – Haematopus palliatus. Their feeding behavior sets them apart from many other shorebirds. Market hunting and egg collecting in the 19th Century can also help explain the low population numbers in North America.

Males and females both engage in nest scraping several weeks before egg laying occurs, though males may perform this activity more often.

The large, heavy beak is used to pry open bivalve mollusks. Overall population probably c.

Only subscribers are able to see the bibliography. The American Oystercatcher is a large, conspicuous shorebird, common in coastal salt marshes and sand beaches throughout the central part of its range. Historically, the American oystercatcher was hunted to near extinction in the 19th century for plumage and eggs. Nesting may occur more often in salt marshes along the northern end of their range to escape possible disturbances brought on by humans.

This progresses to leaning towards each other, extending and lowering the neck, and running alongside each other while calling.

ADW: Haematopus palliatus: INFORMATION

Much of their daily routine is spent preening, head scratching, sleeping, standing, and sunbathing. Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons or periodic condition changes. Habitat Breeds in saltmarshes and palloatus sandy and pebble beaches; many birds move to mudflats in winter Login or Subscribe to get haemztopus to a lot of extra features! They are occasionally lined with plant matter and pebbles to camouflage them from predators. Behavior American oystercatchers don’t live in colonies, but they do gather in large groups before migrating.

Common gulls use American oystercatchers as hosts to access food. They also eat small fish on occasion.

Subspecies and Distribution H. Two subspecies currently recognized. The eggs are gray and speckled with dark brown. View the full account on The Birds of North America Online In-depth, comprehensive species information and multimedia subscription required. On soft substrates in Virginia, prey includes razor-clams Ensis The American oystercatcher breeds from April-July.


There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. While skunksraccoonsgreat black-backed gullsand palliatu gulls all prey on American oystercatcher eggs, large raptors are the primary predators of adult birds.

They are losing habitat to human disturbance and development along beaches, and to other birds.

Recommended Citation

Nol and Humphrey, ; Stokes and Stokes, George, ; Nol and Humphrey, ; Stokes and Stokes, Marine Ornithology Nol and Humphrey, ; Stokes and Stokes, Communication Channels visual tactile acoustic Perception Channels visual tactile acoustic chemical Food Habits American oystercatchers feed mainly on marine invertebrates, bivalves, haemxtopus, worms, clams, crabs and shell fish.

During the breeding season, these birds are found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and from Massachusetts south to Argentina and Chile. When courting, the birds will walk together and make a single piping note.

Communication and Perception American oystercatchers are very vocal, especially during the breeding season, when their breeding display is spectacularly auditory and visual. They snap the adductor muscles of the bivalves with their long bill so the shell can’t close up.

There are records of American oystercatchers and closely-related Eurasian oystercatchers engaging in kleptoparasitism.

As they walk across aplliatus shellfish bed, they look for a mollusk with a partially opened shell. The head and breast are black and the back, wings and tail greyish-black.