Black Oystercatchers (
) are a bird found from Alaska to Baja in rocky areas, they are scarce in areas dominated by sandy beaches in that range. Black Oystercatchers forage around mussel beds near the low tide, removing mussels from the shells while leaving the shell in place. They also feed on limpets, whelks, urchins, and other shellfish.
Black Oystercatchers may mate for life, laying 2-3 eggs per nest that take approximately 24-29 days to hatch. Once hatched, the chick will remain near the nest and adults take turns to guard and feed the young. They are able to fly after about 5 weeks.
These birds are vulnerable to oil spills and pollution in the intertidal zones, as well as disturbance at nesting sites. We can protect these species by respecting their space and leaving no trace of our visit.
At Haystack Rock this year, we have a pair that first had a nest fair and then on attempt #2 hatched a chick!