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Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata

The Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus), called Strandskata in Skåne, also known as the common pied oystercatcher, or palaearctic oystercatcher, or (in Europe) just oystercatcher, is a wader in the oystercatcher bird family Haematopodidae.

It is the most widespread of the oystercatchers, with three races breeding in western Europe, central Eurasia, Kamchatka, China, and the western coast of Korea. No other oystercatcher occurs within this area.

This oystercatcher is the national bird of the Faroe Islands.

Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata

Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there


Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata

Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Range of H. ostralegus
By Andreas Trepte - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=347217


Description
The oystercatcher is one of the largest waders in the region. It is 40–45 cm long, the bill accounting for 8–9 cm, and has a wing-span of 80–85 cm. They are obvious and noisy plover-like birds, with black and white plumage, red legs and strong broad red bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs such as mussels or for finding earthworms.

Despite its name, oysters do not form a large part of its diet. The bird still lives up to its name, as few if any other wading birds are capable of opening oysters at all.

Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Eurasian Oystercatcher looking for food
Eider Barrage, Germany - August 2018

Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Eurasian Oystercatcher looking for food
Eider Barrage, Germany - August 2018

Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Eurasian Oystercatcher looking for food
Eider Barrage, Germany - August 2018

Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Eurasian Oystercatcher looking for food
Eider Barrage, Germany - August 2018

Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Found a fish
Eider Barrage, Germany - August 2018

Looking for food
Ölands Södra Udde, Sweden - May 2019


This oystercatcher is unmistakable in flight, with white patches on the wings and tail, otherwise black upperparts, and white underparts. Young birds are more brown, have a white neck collar and a duller bill. The call is a distinctive loud piping.

The bill shape varies; oystercatchers with broad bill tips open molluscs by prising them apart or hammering through the shell, whereas pointed-bill birds dig up worms. Much of this is due to the wear resulting from feeding on the prey. Individual birds specialise in one technique or the other which they learn from their parents.

Size: 40-45 cm
the bill accounting for 8–9 cm
Wingspan: 80-85 cm
Weight: 400-820 g
Longevity: 36 Years
Distinctive Feature
Next to impossible to mix up with another bird. Black and white with a long red bill and red eyes


Listen to the Eurasian Oystercatcher

Remarks from the Recordist

Recorded with my ZOOM H5 Handy recorder. High Pass Filter applied with Audacity. Some noise cut out between the calls

Bicycle holiday in Germany and I´m biking along the river Eider towards the Eider Barrage. I reach a gate and I see two Oystercatchers taking off giving what I think is an alarm call.

I was disappointed over a missed photo opportunity. But I still hear what I think is an alarm call and I look around. There was one remaining Oystercatcher between the rocks and the bird did not care much about me


www.xeno-canto.org

Subspecies
There are three subspecies: the nominate ostralegus found in Europe and the coasts of eastern Europe, longipes from Central Asia and Russia, and osculans found from Kamchatka in the Russian Far East and northern parts of China.

Bill length shows clinal variation with an increase from west to east. The subspecies longipes has distinctly brownish upperparts and the nasal groove extends more than halfway along the bill. In the subspecies ostralegus the nasal groove stops short of the half-way mark.

The osculans subspecies lacks white on the shafts of the outer 2–3 primaries and has no white on the outer webs of the outer five primaries.

Ecology
This is a migratory species over most of its range. The European population breeds mainly in northern Europe, but in winter the birds can be found in north Africa and southern parts of Europe. Although the species is present all year in Ireland, Great Britain and the adjacent European coasts, there is still migratory movement: the large flocks that are found in the estuaries of south-west England in winter mainly breed in northern England or Scotland.

Similar movements are shown by the Asian populations. The birds are highly gregarious outside the breeding season.

The nest is a bare scrape on pebbles, on the coast or on inland gravelly islands. 2–4 eggs are laid. Both eggs and chicks are highly cryptic.

Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Egg - MHNT
By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20257803


Because of its large numbers and readily identified behaviour, the oystercatcher is an important indicator species for the health of the ecosystems where it congregates. Extensive long-term studies have been carried out on its foraging behaviour, in northern Germany, in the Netherlands and particularly on the River Exe estuary in south-west England.[

These studies form an important part of the foundation for the modern discipline of behavioural ecology.

Etymology
The scientific name Haematopus ostralegus comes from the Greek haima αἳμα blood, pous πούς foot and Latin ostrea oyster and legere to collect or pick.

The name oystercatcher was coined by Mark Catesby in 1731 as a common name for the North American species H. palliatus, described as eating oysters. Yarrell in 1843 established this as the preferred term, replacing the older name Sea Pie.

Conservation status
Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Near Threatened (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2015.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

www.birdforum.net


Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 1 August 2018
Location: Eider Barrage


Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Eurasian Oystercatcher / Strandskata - 1 August 2018 - Eider Barrage

Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Eurasian Oystercatcher / Strandskata - 1 August 2018 - Eider Barrage

Eurasian Oystercatcher , Haematopus ostralegus, Common Pied Oystercatcher, Palaearctic Oystercatcher, Strandskata
Eurasian Oystercatcher / Strandskata - 1 August 2018 - Eider Barrage



PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook



       
                  



                                       

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