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African Oystercatcher - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 09:49, 8 December 2021 by AndyHurley-86867 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links: {{GS-checked}} <br /> <br />)

Alternative name: African Black Oystercatcher

Photo © by GarethH
Cape Agulhas, South Africa, December 2007
Haematopus moquini


Photo © by balticbird
Kommetjie, South Africa, November 2000

Length 42-45 cm (16½-17¾ in), mass 582-835 g. Females larger than males
Adult: Black with an orange-red bill, red eyes, an orange eye ring and pink legs and feet.
Immatures: Duller than adults, bill and eyes brown, eye ring narrow and legs and feet grey.


Coast of South Africa, Namibia and southern Angola.


This is a monotypic species[1].

The Canary Islands Oystercatcher (H. meadewaldoi; extinct) is split from the African Oystercatcher.


Photo © by marko.marais
Margan Bay, South Africa, October 2017

Rocky shores and sandy beaches; sometimes estuaries, lagoons and coastal pans.


Usually forages in pairs or small groups, and roosts communally.


Forages in the intertidal zone, mainly for limpets and mussels; feeds both at night and during the day.


The nest is a scrape in the ground above the high-water mark (but usually within 30 m thereof). One to three eggs are laid September to April.

Conservation Status

Classified as Near-threatened in the 2007 IUCN Red List (BirdLife International, 2007): Human disturbance (on the mainland) and introduced predators and diseases (on islands) are the main threats to this species which is present in relatively low numbers (about 6000 individuals) and has a low rate of reproduction.


  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. BirdLife International 2007. Species factsheet: Haematopus moquini. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/2/2008.
  3. Claassens A & Marais E 2008. Species information page - African Black Oystercatcher. SASOL Bird e-Guide. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org.za/fieldguide on 25 January 2008.
  4. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.