American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)

These birds have two methods of opening bivalve shells. One is to look for a mussel that has the shell slightly open, prick it quickly with the beak to open it, cut the muscles and then remove the contents. With the other method, the bird simply hammers the shell until it brakes open.


Coastal beaches and wet tidal plains. Its habitat is strictly coastal, in areas with extensive sandy beaches, tidal marshes and salt water marshes. A key element is the presence of a good food supply, such as oyster farms and clam banks. It can nest among the dunes, on islands in salt marshes or on islands formed by dredgers.


Mainly seafood and sea worms. It feeds mostly on mussels, clams, oysters, sea worms, sand crabs, sea urchins, jellyfish and other small creatures in the intertidal zone.

Resident bird with year-round sighting.


Beach and lagoons.