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SHOREBIRDS

Most Shorebirds walk along shores probing for food with their thin sensitive bills. Bill length varies considerably so differing species can work the same shore and obtain different food supplies. Shorebirds include sandpipers, godwits, stilts, oystercatchers, plovers, and many more. Shorebirds belong to the Charadriiformes order which also includes the Gulls and Allies.
Note: the term Shorebirds is used in the Americas; elsewhere "waders" is used. We will reserve "waders" for herons and allies.

Some Charadriiformes families:
Burhinidae: thick-knees; Charadriidae: small plovers, lapwings; Glareolidae: courses, pratincoles; Haematopodidae: oystercatchers
Jacanidae: jacanas; Recurvirostridae: avocets, stilts; Scolopacidae: small bill sandpipers, large bill sandpipers.


Oystercatchers

Order Charadriiformes    Family Haematopodidae - 1 genus

Oystercatchers have long and thick orange or red bills. The bill shape varies between species, according to the diet. Those birds with blade-like bill tips pry open or smash mollusc shells, and those with pointed bill tips probe for worms and larvae. They have black upperparts and white or black underparts.


Genus Haematopus


Oystercatcher, African (Black)
  Haematopus moquini  Found: Africa 
The African Black Oystercatcher has a black body; orange-red to red bill, eyes, eye-ring; pinkish-red legs.
Similar to: Eurasian Oystercatcher. One is pied and the other black, so identification should be no problem.
Image by: 1, 2, 3 ) Dick Daniels - De Hoop, South Africa   5) Dick - Plettenberg Bay, South Africa   4) Sandy Cole - De Hoop, South Africa   6) Cristiano Crolle - Paternoster, South Africa


Oystercatcher, American Haematopus palliatus   Found: The Americas
The American Oystercatcher has pied coloring; orange-red bill, yellow eyes, orange eye-ring; pink legs.
Similar to: American Black Oystercater. One is pied and the other black, so identification should be no problem.
Similar to: Magellanic Oystercatcher. Range may overlap in southern South America. Magellanic Oystercatcher is darker; American Oystercatcher has more white on the shoulder.
Image by:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) Dick Daniels - North Carolina  


Oystercatcher, Black also American Black Oystercatcher Haematopus bachmani   Found: North America (west coast)
The African Black Oystercatcher has a black body; red bill; yellow eyes; red eye-ring; pink legs.
Similar to: American Oystercater. One is pied and the other black, so identification should be no problem.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - California  


Oystercatcher, Blackish  Haematopus ater  Found: South America
The African Black Oystercatcher has a black wings; dark brown back; red bill, eyes; white legs.
Similar to: Magellanic Oystercater. One is pied and the other black, so identification should be no problem.
Image by: 1) Alastair Rae   2) Charlie Westerinen - Ushuaia, Argentina  3) Francesco Veronesi - Chile


Oystercatcher, Chatham  Haematopus chathamensis  Found: Chatham Islands, New Zealand
Image by: 1) Peter Crosson  2) Bret Stevenson


Oystercatcher, Eurasian also Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus   Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Eurasian Oystercatcher has pied coloring; red bill, eyes, eye-ring; pink legs.
Similar to: African Black Oystercatcher. One is pied and the other black, so identification should be no problem.
Image by:  1) John Haslam   2, 5) Charlie Westerinen - Reine, Norway  3, 4) Dick Daniels - Scotland   6) Cristiano Crolle - Texel, Holland


Oystercatcher, Magellanic  Haematopus leucopodus  Found: South America (Argentina, Chile, Falkland Islands)
The Magellanic Oystercatcher has pied coloring; red bill; yellow eyes, eye-ring; whitish legs.
Similar to: American Oystercatcher. Range may overlap in southern South America. Magellanic Oystercatcher is darker; American Oystercatcher has more white on the shoulder.
Similar to: Blackish Oystercater. One is pied and the other black, so identification should be no problem.
Image by: 1) D Faulder - the Falkland Islands  2) Brian Ralphs - Patagonia  3) Charlie Westerinen - Begal Channel of south Argentina  4) Elizabeth Oliver


Oystercatcher, Pied Haematopus longirostris   Found: Australia
The Pied Oystercatcher has pied coloring; orange-red bill, eye-ring; red eyes, legs.
Similar to: Sooty Oystercatcher. One is pied and the other black, so identification should be no problem.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - Australia   4) JJ - Tasmania, Australia


Oystercatcher, Sooty Haematopus fuliginosus    Found: Australia
The African Black Oystercatcher has a black body; red bill, eyes, eye-ring; pink legs.
Similar to: Pied Oystercatcher. One is pied and the other black, so identification should be no problem.
Image by: 1, 2) JJ Harrison - Tasmania, Australia  3) Glen Fergus on Ladt Elliot Island, Australia   4) Charlie Westerinen - Wollongong, Australia 



Oystercatcher, South Island  also South Island Pied Oystercatcher  Haematopus finschi  Found: New Zealand
The South Island Oystercatcher has pied coloring; orange to red bill, orange eye-ring; pink legs.
Similar to: Variable Oystercatcher. The South Island Oystercatcher has well defined boundaries between black and white; Variable Oystercatcher has blurry boundaries between any black and white areas.
Image by Paul Davey - New Zealand  2, 3) Seabird NZ


Oystercatcher, Variable Haematopus unicolor   Endemic to New Zealand
The Variable Oystercatcher has black upperparts; variable underparts from all black to black-and-white; red bill; orange eye-ring; pink legs.
Similar to: South Island Oystercatcher. The South Island Oystercatcher has well defined boundaries between black and white; Variable Oystercatcher has blurry boundaries between any black and white areas.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - New Zealand   2, 4) Dick - New Zealand
1, 2) Black variant 3, 4) Mottled variant


More Oystercatchers - Cape Fear River, March 25, 2008




  Order Charadriiformes    Family Ibidorhynchidae

This family has only one genus, and that has only one species.

Genus Ibidorhyncha - 1 species

Ibisbill  Ibidorhyncha struthersii  Found: central Asia
The Ibisbill has gray upperparts; white underparts; long down-curved bill; black face, breast-band; white belly; red legs.
Image by: 1) Ron Knight  2) Vishal Sabharwal - India





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