Thursday, July 5, 2012

"The World Is Your Oyster"

Surely this must be the credo of this hooded mollusk-massacring maniac. And just look at this cool bird. With all of his fancy bracelets and leg adornments...this American Oystercatcher is living the American dream. This particular bird's jewelry may also have something to do with the location, as I hear many people in Jersey prefer the larger, louder pieces. Hey, we pay $20 per pound for this sort of seafood and hope it's fresh. He eats it every day and looks good while he's doing it (something I certainly cannot manage). The world may indeed be his oyster.


As successful as they are, Oystercatchers are still pretty funky-looking shorebirds. Their legs are a pale, fleshy tone, while their mollusk-mutillating bills appear downright cumbersome! Their yellow eyes, outlined in orange, are very striking. When they take flight they have a bold white stripe sort of like a Willet, and their black executioner's hood caps it all off. Needless to say I find the birds to be wonderful...



These Oystercatchers demonstrated why birding on the beach is so much fun. There's plenty of light, the shorebirds aren't overly fidgety, there're no obscuring tree branches or shadows, and if you're a photographer, the ocean always provides a nice background. These birds can strike some pretty nice poses too as they scout out the swirling tide-pools and frothing eddies.


My legs and the Oystercatcher's look very similar (minus the anklets), but the bird withstood the chilly Atlantic water better than I did. For that matter, it also had much more luck prying open the various bivalve mollusks than I had. Everyone has different talents...    

It's just as well that they were making all the catches. I don't really enjoy raw clams, muscles, or oysters that much, even with hot sauce. I certainly do enjoy watching Oystercatchers, and maybe capturing a few photos to enjoy a month down the road.

16 comments:

  1. Cool pics, Laurence! I already feel refreshed on a hot July morning. Much enjoyed your post.

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    1. Thanks Hilke. It was very nice to review these photos for that reason--that swirling bubbling water makes me feel cooled down too.

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  2. What a delightful post. I enjoyed your humor this morning while sipping my coffee and trying to wake up! You captured some beautiful images of this amazing bird! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. My pleasure Karen, thanks for stopping by.

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  3. A great post Laurence, your humor is always great to wake up to. Love the images and the action that they show.

    I bet you didn't publish your Oystercatcher post before it was finsihed like I did.

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    1. Thanks Mia. I had it easy, you had much more Oystercatcher material than I : )

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  4. Very nice shots... Never seen this oystercatcher variety in the flesh- pretty awesome birds. The third shot is my favorite- sort of a bird in a bubble bath feel.

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    1. Thank ya Jen. This was my first and only observation of the American Oystercatchers so I was very glad to share the bubble bath with em'.

      How often do you see Black Oystercatchers around the Oregon coast? The only time I've seen em' was off the N. California shore, but I've noticed they don't seem to come up a lot on the west coast bird blogs.

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  5. Great shots of truly fabulous birds, and banded ones no less! Glad you are out birding by the sea - must feel good to escape the AZ heat in July. Let me know if you come to Maine for puffins...

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    1. Thanks a bundle Lauren. Alas, I actually saw these birds in early June and haven't been able to return to the shore since then, but my memories are with me. It's funny you mention May...my wife and I toyed with the idea of fleeing up there just for a weekend of lobster and cool sea breezes, way from this heat. It probably won't happen, but if it does I'll have to do a bit of birding, and I shall request your help! Especially if you're still channelling Black-billed Cuckoos!

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  6. Enjoyable post Laurence! Great job capturing all the charm these beautiful birds have to offer.

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    1. Thank you Tammy. They're serious eye candy!

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  7. A most delightful post, Laurence! I truly enjoyed reading your wonderful narrative and viewing the fabulous photographs. American Oystercatchers really are very cool birds!

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    1. Thank you Julei, tis' very nice of you to say. They are sweet birds I hope I did em' justice.

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  8. I love these birds. They are full of color and add a little excitement to the beach:) Hope you had a good weekend!

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    1. I did indeed have a great weekend Chris. Thanks for stopping by; I hope you had a nice break as well.

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