VARIABLE OYSTERCATCHER

VARIABLE OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus unicolor) – (See images below)
The Variable oystercatcher is another common oystercatcher endemic to New Zealand. These birds are wading along the shore in search of shellfish (not just oysters), which they pry open or hammer at with their powerful bill. The variable oystercatcher is slightly longer than the South Island oystercatcher described above. (It is kind of a contradiction that the english name includes the word ‘variable’, whereas the latin name includes the word ‘unicolor’.)

SIMILAR SPECIES: Black Oystercatcher

Variable oystercatchers sleeping - Cape Reinga, NZ
Variable oystercatchers sleeping – Cape Reinga, NZ
Variable oystercatcher foraging - Kaikoura, NZ
Variable oystercatcher foraging – Kaikoura, NZ
Variable oystercatchers sleeping on one leg - Kaikoura, NZ
Variable oystercatchers sleeping on one leg – Kaikoura, NZ
Variable oystercatcher on one leg to conserve heat - Kaikoura, NZ
Variable oystercatcher on one leg to conserve heat – Kaikoura, NZ

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