Sunday, 2 December 2018

Australian Pied Oystercatcher

These two black and white birds waiting out the high tide on a jetty at Woy Woy are Australian Pied Oystercatchers Haematopus longirostris. They can be observed almost anywhere on the coast of Australia, especially on sandy beaches. They use their scarlet beaks to flip up bivalves from under the sand and break them open to eat them. Different birds use different techniques so it is believed that they learn how to break into a shell by observing their parents.


Le Pré de la Forge said...

Have their beaks changed shape like the European ones? There are prizers/splitters with a longer chisel-ended bill, and hamerers with a slightly shorter, blunt ended bill.... and, apparently, they hatch like that!

Susan said...

I don't know. I'd have to ask one of my Australian bird nerd contacts.

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