Regular sightings of endangered African Black Oystercatcher, Port Elizabeth.

Regular sightings of endangered African Black Oystercatcher, Port Elizabeth.

oystercatchers along the rocky shore, port elizabeth

Oystercatchers along the rocky shore, Port Elizabeth

The African black oystercatcher is resident to the mainland coasts and offshore islands of southern Africa sometimes occurring as a vagrant in Angola and Mozambique. These pretty black birds are often seen wading and feeding on the rocks very near to Bird Rock, Port Elizabeth. They are large and noisy waders with completely black plumage, red legs and a strong broad red bill. The near-threatened oystercatcher has a population of over 6000 adults, which breed between November and April. The sexes are similar in appearance, however, females are larger and have a slightly longer beak than males. Juveniles have soft grey plumage and do not express the characteristic red legs and beak until after they fledged. The call is a distinctive loud piping, very similar to Eurasian oystercatchers. Its breeding range extends from Lüderitz, Namibia to Mazeppa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Typically sedentary African oystercatchers rarely leave their territories, which include a nesting site and feeding grounds. These will usually be located on or near rocky shores where they can feed. The lifespan of an African oystercatcher is about 35 years, of which they are known to pair up for 25 years. Most mainland egg and chick fatalities are due to disturbance by people, off-road vehicles, dog attacks and predation by the kelp gull and other avian predators. Off shore pairs experience similar avian predation although most chicks perish due to starvation. African oystercatchers predominantly feed on molluscs such as mussels and limpets, although are known to also feed on polychaetes, insects and even fish. They are adapted to pry open mussels and loosen limpets off the rocks but have been recorded picking through sand to locate other food items.

Source: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_oystercatcher

variety of coastal birds, port elizabeth

Variety of coastal birds, Port Elizabeth

sightings of the oystercatcher along the humpback trail, p.e.

Sightings of the oystercatcher along the Humpback Trail, P.E.

A treat to spot an african oystercatcher in flight

A treat to spot an African oystercatcher in flight

african black oystercatchers, port elizabeth

African Black Oystercatchers, Port Elizabeth

Stark contrast in colour, the black against the red bills and legs of the oystercatcher

Stark contrast in colour, the black against the red bills and legs of the oystercatcher