Thursday, February 19, 2015

Black Oystercatcher

The African Oystercatcher or African Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus moquini), is only found along the coast of South Africa and Namibia.  They mostly live on rocky shores and feed mainly on mussels and limpets.  Those who live on sandy shores eat sand mussels and the Estuarine Oystercatchers typically eat cockles and pencil-bait.  They mate for life and it is known of pairs that lived together for up to 20 years.  They breed once a year and can get very loud if you venture too close to a nest or their young.  Back in 1998 the African Black Oystercatcher was considered a threatened species.  A conservation project was started and along with the ban of vehicles on the beaches and a increased food availability (mainly thanks to the rapid spread of the alien Mediterranean Mussel), their numbers are on the rise again. These days they are listed as Near Threatened and soon to be Least Concern which is great news.  I was watching this guy on a walk along the coast at Lauries Bay recently and he seem to have been watching me back. 


  1. I love walking along a Cape beach and seeing these handsome birds. Thanks for the great information on them. Jo

  2. Interesting looking bird. I often look at your posts but sorry there have been few comments! Hope you are well Diane