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Oyster Catchers - Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - Oyster catchers- Hebridean Birds Sightings.

The Hebrides sees an extraordinary diversity of wildlife, birds - including oyster catchers

Oystercatchers are striking, black and white wading birds with long bright red bills and pink legs.

In winter the adult oyster catcher has a white chin strap

When oyster catchers are flying they shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a 'V' between the wings.

        Oyster Catchers -  Photo Gallery
Oyster Catchers -  Western Isles
Photo Gallery  - Grey Herons  Images
Bird Overview - Oyster Catcher
Family
Haematopodidae
Latin name
Haematopus ostralegus

 Population
Common, though on the "Amber List"


Similar Species
Other Oyster Catchers (12 species)
Avocet
Black Tailed Godwit
Description
Oystercatchers are striking, black and white wading birds with long bright red bills and pink legs. In winter the adult oyster catcher has a white chin strap

When oyster catchers are flying they shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a 'V' between the wings.


Females and Male oyster catchers are very similar in appearance, although males often have relatively shorter, thicker bills. Juveniles have brownish-black upperparts, grey legs, and a dark tip to the bill

Size
Length - 43cm (hooded crow size) ) Wingspan 83cm
Habitat
The Oyster catchers are really shore birds, but they do now breed inland too in varies places throughout the UK. Most UK birds spend the winter on the coast; where they are joined on the east coast by birds from Norway.

Food
Mainly mussels, cockles and worms, limpets and crabs
Voice
A loud, harsh "frarnk", which is often given in flight.
Breeding
The oyster catchers don't have a nest really, its just a scrape in the ground. They usually have only one brood a year. Both male and female take their turns incubating eggs. THere are two or three heavily speckled eggs. Incubation is 24 - 28 days, When the oystercatcher chicks hatch they are always fed by the adults on earthworms, and because the chicks don't feed themselves, usually only two chicks survive to grow to adult size.the youngsters keep leaving the nest after about a day, nut the adults keep careful watch until these birds are independent at about 34 days
Misc. Info

As the oyster catchers eat cockles, it was a shame but in the 1970's many birds were killed, in order to safeguard the industry, making these birds become many fewer and indeed though this practice stopped these birds are still in the UK on the Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.

 

There are twelve species of oyster catchers throughout the world, though some are in danger of becoming extinct

Grey Heron - Western Isles
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