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Blackish Oystercatcher (Haematopus ater) | by Mark Carmody
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Blackish Oystercatcher (Haematopus ater)

The Blackish Oystercatcher (Haematopus ater) is a species of wading bird in the oystercatcher family Haematopodidae. It is found in Argentina, Chile, the Falkland Islands and Peru, and is a vagrant to Uruguay. The population is estimated at 15,000–80,000. The IUCN has the species listed as Least Concern. It is unclear whether the population is increasing or decreasing.


The plumage of the Blackish Oystercatcher is slaty-black with wings and back being rather dark brown. The long bill is blood-red and the legs are white. The sexes are similar in appearance. The Blackish Oystercatcher is easily overlooked on a rocky shore. Its dark colour blends in with the colour of the rocks on which it walks as it forages, and it does not draw attention to itself. Its presence, however, can easily be detected by its loud and distinctive warning calls. The song of the Blackish Oystercatcher, when given in duet, consists of an excited chatter of piping whistles. Calls include notes that sound like "pip" and "peeeeyeeee", very much like the Eurasian Oystercatcher. (wikipedia)


Delighted to have been able to photograph this stocky, beast of an Oystercatcher. Massive bill and great call. Taken along the shoreline of Stanley, Falkland Islands.


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Taken on November 21, 2014