Behavior and successful nesting of American oystercatchers on Falkner Island, Connecticut, in 1993

The Connecticut Warbler



Falkner Island, a two hectare unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, is located at 41°13'N, 72°39'W in Long Island Sound about 5 km south of Guilford, Connecticut. This island, described in detail by Helander (1988), is the nesting site of a mixed colony of several thousand Common Terns (Sterna hirundo) and a few hundred Roseate Terns (S. dougallii) (Spendelow 1994a,b). This colony has been studied by the staff of the Falkner Island Tern Project (FITP) since 1978 (Spendelow 1982, Spendelow and Nichols 1989). In 1993, I made opportunistic observations of a pair of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) and their young. I describe here their nesting activity and behavior. I did not find similar published material on much of the behavior I observed or on oystercatcher breeding biology in Connecticut.

Oystercatchers have attempted to nest in Connecticut since the late 1970s (Proctor 1981, Anon. 1982) [not in 1980 in Westbrook as misstated earlier (Zingo 1992) ]. A first attempt by American Oystercatchers to nest on Falkner Island in 1991 was unsuccessful (Zingo 1992). Although a pair of oystercatchers was seen on Falkner Island several times from April to August 1992, they made no apparent attempt to nest. In 1993, however, a pair (Figure 1) successfully fledged two young. Although young have been produced previously elsewhere in the state (e.g., Dewire 1981, Rosgen 1986, Taylor 1989), these were the first young produced in New Haven County.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Behavior and successful nesting of American oystercatchers on Falkner Island, Connecticut, in 1993
Series title The Connecticut Warbler
Volume 14
Issue 3
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher Connecticut Ornithological Association
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 13 p.
First page 96
Last page 108
Country United States
State Connecticut
Other Geospatial Falkner Island, Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge
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