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The Oyster Catcher

The Oyster Catcher
Photo Information
Copyright: Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 30d, Canon 70-300mm DO IS USM
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-07-31 4:10
Viewed: 4031
Points: 38
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Oyster catcher

Oystercatchers are stocky birds with bright eye-rings and long colourful bills. Their diet is much more varied than their name implies.

There are three species in New Zealand:
Pied oystercatcher
Variable oystercatcher
Chatham Island oystercatcher

Plus the New Zealand subspecies South Island pied oystercatcher

I think this is the Pied oystercatcher

The pied oystercatcher or torea in Maori, is the most common oystercatcher in New Zealand, numbering around 112,000 birds in 1994. The New Zealand subspecies (Haematopus ostralegus finschi) is the South Island pied oystercatcher or SIPO. It has a black head and upper surfaces, and a white belly. A white Y pattern between the chest and the folded wing distinguishes it from the pied phase of the variable oystercatcher. The pied oystercatcher has a red bill, orange eye-ring and short pink legs, measures 46 centimetres and weighs 550 grams.

In early spring, pied oystercatchers migrate from beaches and estuaries to inland rivers or farmland, mainly in the South Island, where they breed from August. Nests are a shallow scrape on open riverbeds or farmland. They lay one to three brown, blotched eggs, the parents sharing incubation. Chicks can fly at six weeks.

From December, after raising their young for the year, they return to winter feeding grounds in the North or South Island, where large flocks gather on sand spits and estuaries, or near a river mouth. Their chief ports of call include Farewell Spit, the Firth of Thames, and Kaipara and Manukau harbours.

On the coast, they probe into mud or wet sand, or picking from the surface, they feed on molluscs, estuarine worms and small fish. Inland, they feed on worms and grubs.

Pied oystercatchers start breeding from the age of four or five, and they live up to 27 years.


This is taken around the rocks from where I live.
In NZ we have had problems with a lot of newly arrived visitors from overseas who have gone around our coast taking ALL the shellfish and small sea creatures that usually lived on our rock pools. They have taken them to use in soups or whatever, and our birds and fish can't find enough to eat now.
It is a big problem now.

siggi, Royaldevon, eqshannon, Alex99, ramthakur, MMM has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To vanderschelden: Shellfish all gone!Janice 1 08-01 15:40
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-07-31 4:22]

Hi Janice,
good capture of the Variable Oyster Catcher. Very good sharpness and colours, Well done,

Hello Janice,

What a fabulous shot of this oyster catcher! We tried to capture some last year in Northumberland but we could never get close enough to them, to get this sort of a shot!

The details of its plummage and markings are very clear. I love the attitude of anticipation that it is displaying.
It also reminds me of my children. They loved to go in the sand where their feet sunk out of sight!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-07-31 4:53]

Hello Janice,
My favourite wader again and in a fine pose on the mud. You're lucky to have three species in NZ! e see them here occasionally but I think they're avoiding the thousands of tourists we have here along the coast at the moment! Fine details and colours and I like your composition.
TFS and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2008-07-31 5:08]

Hi Janice
très bonne image, la composition est soignée, le rendu de couleur naturel et dense. Bonne netteté d'ensemble.


Hello Janice,

I like very much the composition. Great lighting. Excellent sharpness and superb natural colours.

Interesting colored eye and beak. There is no similar species like this in the Pacific Northwest or anywhere on the US west coast to my knowledge.

But there is a similar species on the US east coast found from Chesapeake Bay to Florida.

Janice... You didn't say anything about it, but is this species part of the great bird conspiracy started by Australian bird species to overrun NZ with hordes of marauding invaders? Or is this a native species who has joined forces with them and... shall we say... come under it's "wing"? LOL!!!!

I can understand that you might not be able to openly comment right now given the merciless totalitarianism under which you now suffer because of the outrageous and unprovoked Australian bird invasions.

:) :)

My goodness....that scene and those rocks sure look more like my Pacific coast home...back in teh day. You captured the mood and the season well here..and the of course there is the sea-type of bird which I have not seen before...similar families perhaps. Very nice saturation. good true colours. Well position in frame. Nice semi-reflection. Overall a great image.

This is nice Janice, capturing the familiar overcast coastal light. The sand/rivulet pattern running through the image is quite nice too. Good details in the bird...

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-07-31 11:16]

Hi Janice.
Excellent three-dimensional image of a very cute bird and impressive surroundings. Brilliant reproduction of the ground/relief and a water as well as colouration and other details of a bird. I like exposure a lot. My best wishes and TFS.

My apologies for late response to your kind critiqe on my recent picture, Janice. I am obliged for your generous words.
The Oyster Catcher looks beautiful in its natural surrounds. Great image!

Ciao Janice, splendid oyster with fine details and wonderful colors, great sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-08-01 3:54]

Hello janice, Very colorful oyster. Excellent sharpness and brilliant colors. Well done Ganesh

A lovely shot Janice, very well done!

Hello Janice,
His intentions are clear. He definitely wants to 'catch'
111999 to go;-)
Good note as well.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-08-01 13:28]

Hello Janice!

Funny looking bird :-) I like its orange beak and small 'hills' around bird. Pity that we can't see oysters :-)

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-08-01 14:48]

Hello Janice
nice capture.Good POV and sharp image.I like your subject pose.Excellent text to.
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-08-02 0:53]

I can't match this catch of an Oystercatcher!
This is a great shot Janice. A great composition , POV and pose and I like his partial reflection in the small low-tide pool. Not only that, he stands out so well against the wet sand.
TFS this beauty,

Hi Janice ,
Nice shot with Great light and details.
Very well captured.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-08-04 12:23]

Hello Janice, very well done on that Oyster Catcher shot! Well composed, good sharpness and a very good exposure, thanks!


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