Haematopus bachmani, commonly known as the black oystercatcher, is a large costal shorebird. It is about the size of a crow, the average height being about 17 inches tall. Females are usually larger than males. The bird’s feathers are completely black, however, black oystercatchers with all black feathers range only from Alaska to Oregon. Most birds south of Oregon also have white and brown feathers mixed in. Its eyes are yellow encircled by a ring of red skin. Its legs are stout and colored a dull pink to dull orange, making the name “Haematopus” suiting because of its meaning: “blood-foot”. The foot has three “toes” that extend forward but none that extend backward. Its beak is flattened laterally and is a red-orange color, but immature birds may display a black tip. Its beak averages about 9 centimeters.
Black oystercatchers have a wide range of habitat stretching from the shores of the Aleutian Islands to the south tip of Baja California. They are coastal birds. They prefer rocky coastlines, usually with high mussel populations. They also inhabit many is...
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