Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 257 - Variable Oystercatcher

Oystercatchers have to be one of my favourite types of bird - I can't help but think that they have a great deal of personality.

So, when I was in New Zealand at the start of the year, it was good to catch up with a new species.  This is the Variable Oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor). The scientific name is really rather funny in the context of the common name and the fact that the bird (in two of its colour phases) is clearly not unicolour at all!

This bird has an "all black" phase (which is highly appropriate really!), and intermediate phase, where there is some white on the belly and a 'pied' phase where most of the belly feathers are white.  Of course, there are also transitional phases as well.

The first set of pictures were taken at Muriwai, on New Zealand's North Island.  The second set were taken at Picton, on New Zealand's South Island.












As ever, to join in with WBW, just click the blue button below the thumbnails.  SM



22 comments:

Nora said...

I love our Oystercatchers and yours are similar. Ours all all black. They make this high-pitched scream when they fly and sound very excited. I think if ours had some white on them the birders would go crazy. We have an Acorn Woodpecker here now to keep us on our toes.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Cool bird, and pretty cool shots, too.

Andrea Priebe said...

What's with the pink legs ... he looks almost embarressed. They look like they should be wearing pantaloons :) They are cute, I have to say. We have no such bird where I live, but would love to see one in real life ... Great Shots, Stewart :)

Andrea @ From the sol

Rhodesia said...

What great photos and I love the red eye. Hope all is well. Cheers Diane

Phil Slade said...

Not that different to our own everydaY oystercatcher Stewart. By chance I posted soem today for you as an ex-pat.

Ranten said...

One of my favorites too! Lovely pictures!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Stewart, the Oystercatchers are cool birds. Great sighting and photos. Thanks for hosting! Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

NatureFootstep said...

this is a cool looking Oystercatcher. I like this species. :)

Sharon Wagner said...

They sure have vibrant colors. Between their pink feet, orange beak and red eyes.

Linda W. said...

What a beak! You're right that bird does have personality!

Gordon said...

That was interesting Stewart, its amazing how many differen typs there are.
All the best,Gordon.

Lea said...

Love those colorful legs and bills!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I always love seeing 'our' oystercatchers and did not know there was another variety ....I would have recognized it as one though, they look enough like their cousins. Excited to visit the Pacific Ocean shorebirds this summer.

Missy George said...

Black yet colorful..DO they actually eat Oysters?? With that beak they could make quick work of one..All the best...

Breathtaking said...

Hello Stewart!:) Great looking birds, just a little different than the Oyster catchers I have seen, but just as handsome. Lovely shots!:)

Ida said...

Love the colors of these birds. So striking.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great photos. I like this bird.

Linda said...

What an odd bird! I like it!

photodoug said...

Stewart, always a pleasure to view your photos of Oystercatchers. Thanks for sharing.

Pat Tillett said...

The black color really sets off their eyes and beaks.
Great photos Stewart!

Lady Fi said...

I love those long beaks!

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