• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer

Black Oystercatcher

Haematopus bachmani ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: HAEMATOPODIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A large, conspicuous, and noisy bird of the Pacific Coast, the Black Oystercatcher can be found along rocky shores from Alaska to Baja California.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
16.5–18.5 in
42–47 cm
Weight
17.6–24.7 oz
500–700 g
Other Names
  • Huîtrier de Bachman (French)
  • Ostrero negro (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Black Oystercatchers from Alaska to about Oregon are entirely black, but southward from there birds show increasing amounts of white feathers and browner (less black) abdomens.
  • The oldest recorded Black Oystercatcher was at least 6 years, 2 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in British Columbia.

Habitat


Shore-line

Rocky seacoasts and islands, less commonly sandy beaches.

Food


Insects

Molluscs, especially mussels and limpets

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1–4 eggs
Condition at Hatching
Downy and active, able to leave nest as soon as down dries.
Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Probing

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Though widespread, Black Oystercatcher is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action.

Credits

Range Map Help

Black Oystercatcher Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

You Might Also Like

Of Oystercatchers and Kayakers: Measuring the impact of humans in Kenai Fjords National Park. Story and photos in Living Bird magazine.

×

Search

Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
×
bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or give your email address to others.