American Oystercatcher: Large shorebird with white underparts, brown upperparts, black hood, long, bright red-orange needle-shaped bill. White wing patches visible in flight. Yellow eyes surrounded by orange eye-rings. Legs and feet are pink. Feeds on mussels and other bivalves. Rapid direct flight.
Range and Habitat
American Oystercatcher: Found exclusively along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Pacific coast of Mexico, and coast of the Gulf of California. Occasionally strays to coasts along southern California. Prefers sandy beaches, mudflats, and occasionaly rocky shores where mollusk prey can be found.
American Oystercatchers insert their long blade-like bills into mussels and other bivalves, severing the powerful adductor muscles before the shells can close.
Nesting adults will add broken shells or pebbles to the nests in order to disguise the speckled eggs.
Young nestlings can run within 24 hours of birth but their beaks are not strong enough to open bivalve shells until they are about 2 months old.
A group of oystercatchers are collectively known as a "parcel" of oystercatchers.
The American Oystercatcher has a far reaching range around the globe and has been found in countries such as Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, the United States and many others. The American Oystercatcher has also been reported in Jamaica as well. The range of the American Oystercatcher is around 860,000 square kilometers. Although exact numbers are not known, the population of this species is thought to include as many as 110,000 individual birds. The American Oystercatcher has a current evaluation rating as Least Concern. This species previously had an evaluation rating of Lower Risk in 2000.