Black Oystercatchers

The screaming meemies-Black Oystercatchers-are back. Their irritating shrill trill sounds like they’re in a continuous flap about something. Before I was able to match the sound with the bird, I was always put on edge by their cries. The call escalates and falls much like their fluttery flight path low over the water.

Actually Oystercatcher is somewhat of a misnomer, they prefer thinner-shelled limpets or mussels whacked or chiselled off the rocks with their long red bills. Their crow-shaped black body and knobby kneed fleshy legs make their whole appearance a bit clownish. Not an elegant or delicate shorebird.

Crows and Ravens prey heavily on their exposed rocky nests making many hatching attempts necessary. Since their food source requires some technical knowhow, surviving young birds stay on for up to a year, to learn foraging skills from their parents. Masterful birds can live 30 years.

Black Oystercatchers frequent rocky shores with rich intertidal life and are often seen(and heard!) around Sargeant Bay’s numerous islets.