• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Magellanic Oystercatcher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Striking Slug
Carcass Island, Falkland Islands, November 2009
Haematopus leucopodus


Photo by Joseph Morlan
Saunders Island, Falkland Islands, March 2018

42–46 cm (16½-18 in)

  • Bright yellow eye and eye-ring
  • Black upperparts and chest
  • Remainder of plumage white, including a broad white trailing edge to the upper wings
  • White rump and white on the underwing
  • Legs are very pale pink.

Immature: Similar to adult but browner above, with dark eye, dull bill with dark tip, and drab legs and feet.


South to south-central Chile and Argentina to Cape Horn Archipelago and Falkland Islands.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Seashore, sand or mudflats, and inland on grasslands near ponds and sheep pens.


When excited has a display where the tail is lifted in a way that makes the white rump and undertail very obvious, a display that is not common in many other oystercatchers.


Probes in the mud and around rocks for limpets, mussels, crabs and other food items. When inland, will mainly feed on earthworms.


Voice is reminiscent of an un-oiled wheel-barrow: each call of more or less one note, quickly followed by a slightly different note, but all of the un-oiled iron quality.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Hockey, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Magellanic Oystercatcher (Haematopus leucopodus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53748 on 15 May 2018)
  3. Magellanic Oystercatcher (Haematopus leucopodus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/magoys1
  4. Personal observations by Birdforum members njlarsen and Joseph Morlan

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1