The Bird Book/Oyster-catchers

The Bird Book by Chester A. Reed
Oyster-catchers: Family Haematopodidae


[285.] EUROPEAN OYSTER-CATCHER. Hcematopus frazari.

This European species is very similar to the American one which follows, casually occurs in Greenland.



Haematopus palliatus.

Range. Breeds on the coast of the South Atlantic States and Lower California and winters south to Patagonia. Oyster-catchers are

American Oyster-catcher.


large, heavy-bodied birds, with stocky red legs and long, stout red bills. The present species has the whole upper parts and entire head and neck, blackish ; underparts and ends of secondaries, white; length, 19 inches. They are abundant breeding birds on the sandy beaches of the South Atlantic States, and casually wander north to Nova Scotia. They lay their two or three eggs on the ground in slight hollows scooped out of the sand. The eggs are of a buffy or brownish buff color, and are irregularly spotted with blackish brown, with subdued markings of lavender. Size 2.20x1.50. Data. Sandy Point, S. C., May 12, 1902. Three eggs on the sand just above high water mark; nest a mere depression on a small "sand dune" lined with pieces of shells,



286.1. FRAZAR'S OYSTER-CATCHER. Hcematopus bachmani.

Range. Lower California.

This species is darker on the back than the preceding, and the breast is mottled with dusky. Bill very long, heavy, compressed, and thin and chisel-like at the tip.

Brownish buff.

Bill and eyes red; legs flesh color; under parts white, and a white wing bar. These are large, awkward looking birds. It is not an uncommon wader in its somewhat restricted range. Its nesting habits are the same as those of the preceding one, but the markings are generally more sharply defined. The one figured is from a set in the collection of Mr. C. W. Crandall.


287- BLACK OYSTER-CATCHER. Haematopus bachmani.

Range. Pacific coast of North

America from Lower California , ^MM

north to Alaska.

This species is the same size as -W^F<t ^

the Oyster-catcher, but the plumage is entirely black both above and below. They are found upon the rocky coasts and islands, more frequently than upon sandy beaches. Their eggs are laid upon bare rocks or pebbles with no attempt at lining for the nest. The eggs are an olive buff in color, spotted and blotched with brownish black. Size 2.20 x 1.55. Breeding throughout the Aleutian Islands, British Columbia and south to Lower California.


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Olive buff. Three or four eggs are laid.