American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)

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The American Oystercatcher is a large, conspicuous shorebird, common in coastal salt marshes and along sand beaches throughout the central part of its range. One of the few birds to specialize on bivalve mollusks living in saltwater, this species is completely restricted to marine habitats. Two races breed in North America—the eastern nominate race along the Atlantic coast from southern Maine south, and a second race along the Pacific coast from northwestern Baja California south. While the eastern race has been studied extensively across its range both during winter and the breeding season, the biology of the western race is poorly known and this population may also be at risk both from coastal development and hybridization with the American Black Oystercatcher (H. bachmani). Eastern oystercatchers regularly winter in large flocks, from Virginia south along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Organization Series
Title American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)
Issue 82
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Cornell Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists' Union
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description HTML
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Title The Birds of North America
Other Geospatial East Coast United States, Gulf of Mexico and East Coast of Mexico
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N