American Oystercatcher Family
American Oystercatcher. Isn't this the coolest looking bird ever? I can't claim any credit for the awesome photos, though. All these pictures were taken by my son, Pete Wrublewski. We were very lucky to see a whole family of American Oystercatchers at South Beach in Chatham earlier this week.
Seen in real life, the vivid colors are even better than I expected. The bright red-orange eye ring, for example, is not a bit subtle! This adult oystercatcher had a numbered band on each thigh and a metal band on it's ankle. I don't know what the yellow bands mean - I don't even know if this is the male or the female oystercatcher.
This is the other adult; the one without any bands. If one adult wasn't labeled, I wouldn't have been able to tell them apart. They appear to be identical. Both have really large feet, BTW!
They are even stranger looking viewed face first!
The banded bird seemed to stay closer to the two youngsters throughout the day.
Here she (or he) was yelling at Pete for getting too close to the babies. The youngsters begin yelling in response to her cries of alarm. (Note: You can see the metal band clearly in this photo.)
Here they are! Two immature American Oystercatchers up close and personal!
I don't know how old they are, but my copy of "Shorebirds of North America, Europe, and Asia: A Guide to Field Identification (Princeton Field Guides)," says the pale fringe of feathers on the head and neck mean they are "fresh" juveniles.
One of the juvenile American Oystercatchers resting, . . .
scratching an itch, and then . . .
flying away! This is an awesome shot, isn't it? (Congratulations, Pete!) It's the only oystercatcher in flight we saw all day! Evidently they spend a lot of time walking around.