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Haematopus bachmani

THE RACE ROCKS TAXONOMY
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Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrate
Class Aves
Subclass Neornithes
Superorder Neognathae
Order Charadriiformes
Suborder Charadrii
Family Haematopodidae
Genus Haematopus
Species bachmani
COMMON NAME: Black Oystercatcher
Images for this slide show of mating Black oystercatchers on the right were taken on the remote camera 5 by PB. May 29, 2006
Black Oystercatcher nesting
to see the video of Black Oystercatcher Incubating on the nest.
Hatching Oystercatchers
to see the video of Black Oystercatchers on hatching day..
This video of the black oystercatcher on the nest in June 2007 was screen-captured from camera 2 which was placed two metres from the nest for the duration of incubation. June 24, 2007: Hatching day! By the end of the day three chicks are active. This video by Garry Fletcher is a compilation of events throughout the day.
young
young Chicks
These photos were taken by Mike the day after hatching. Note there were only three eggs. The shell fragment only appears as a fourth. For an interesting article on precocial birds such as these oystercatchers see this link.
PB recorded these images from remote cam 5 of two of the chicks on July 5 /07.
See other images on her site:
nest nest2 nest3 oystbabes
In most years, a pair will nest down in the upper reaches of the surge channel by the engine room.This one was in June of 2005 This small beach, composed of shell fragments, provides the right background for the eggs. There are usually up to 6 nests of the Black Oystercatchers on the island.They are the earliest nesters, starting in mid-May or early June. Parents and several day old chick.

babies babies2
Video of Oystercatcher
Winter Behaviour

The young chicks will stay very still when attempting to hide. Link to Ryan's Flickr Black Oyster catcher set .
bath bath Black Oystercatcher Black Oystercatcher
April 2007 Black oystercatcher bathing in freshwater pool Bath photos from remote cam 5
by PB.
Oystercatcher
Mar 1, 2008 photo by Natan
.
Mar 1, 2008 photo by Natan.
Black Oystercatcher chicks
Black Oystercatchers
June 22, 2008, 2 young hatch on camera 3 near the jetty. Photo by GF of pair of Black Oystercatcher adults.
The black oyster catcher is a jet black bird with a long red beak and pink legs. They grow to 43-44 cm, relatively large for shorebirds. The male and female adult birds are alike in appearance, but juveniles are dull brown. Race Rocks is home to at least six pairs during early May. The birds leave in early fall and return in later December, in numbers up to 30. In the Race Rocks Christmas bird counts numbers as high as 64 in 1997 have been recorded.
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
64 17 1 25 16 39 storm 16 35 22 storm

The birds often use ditracting displays, pretending to have a broken wing or surprising other birds that invade their nests, but are otherwise non-territorial. Both parents incubate two or three eggs on average, and mates may stay together for several years. Locally, since there abeakre no oysters, the bird is not so aptly named, but it does prey upon a variety of intertidal shellfish, including limpets, chitons and various snails. Birds of the same family occupying the same ecological niche are found throughout the shorelines of the world.
Their long, chisel-like beak is perfect for prying the shells open to feed on the soft flesh inside. The skull to the left was the product of predation by a river otter in 2001. The presence of the black oyster catcher nesting areas can be noted upon the discovery of piles of empty shells in the nooks and crannies of Race Rocks. Analysis of the different shells found in these piles has been done and it serves as an indicator of shellfish species diversity on the island, as well as the food web of the oystercatchers.
See the results of the Fall 1999 collection of shells from the midden of the oystercatchers. Also go to the Lab on the Ecological Niche of the Black Oyster-catcher.

Oystercatcher feeding
The Pacific Wildlife Foundation has provided a useful reference at this link.
see this Video by Paul Omole of a Black Oystercatcher Feeding.
References:
  • Snively, Gloria. "Exploring the Seashore". (1978). Gordon Soules Book Publishers Ltd: Vancouver pg. 60
  • Ricketts, Calvin, Hedgpeth, Phillips. "Between Pacific Tides". (1985). Stanford University Press: Stanford pg. 22
  • Enclyclopedia Britannica. "Birds". (1998). Encyclopedia Brittanica: Chicago pg. 1-113
  • Udvardy, Miklos D. F. "Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds". (1977). Chanticleer Press, Ltd: New York pg. 218, 402
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    The Race Rocks Taxonomy
    This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort
    by the students, volunteers and faculty of
    Lester B. Pearson College
    Dec. 2001 Stewart Maudsley
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