Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide

The Oystercatcher is a bold black and white bird with a bright orange bill and eye ring. In flight it has white wing bars and rump with a black tail.


Haematopus ostralegus
Waders Menu
The Oystercatcher is a bold noisy bird, creating a fuss which alerts all birds in the area of a human or predatory intrusion. Feeds on marine worms, molluscs and earth worms, it is able to prise shellfish from rocks and break into the shell using it's powerful bill. The Oystercatcher often forms large flocks in winter.

Order: Charadriiformes

Family: Haematopodidae

Genus:  Haematopus

Species: H. ostralegus
Oystercatchers as they usually are: noisy and bold.
The bright white wing bars, rump and back are distinctive, the Oystercatcher is a noisy bird and inevitably will be calling in flight.
The Oystercatcher develops a white collar around the throat in winter, juvenile birds can also have this collar, (but not always) along with a grey tip to the bill, as the bird in this image has.
Thanks to: (Modified)
Oystercatcher identification
Oystercatcher flying
Oystercatcher flying from below
Adult Male and Female (Summer)
Adult Oystercatcher in winter plumage
Adult Oystercatcher in flight
Thanks to: (Modified)
Adult Oystercatcher in summer plumage
Thanks to: (Modified)
The Oystercatcher is the only wader in the UK to have a bright orange bill.
Adult Male, Female, and Juvenile (Winter)
Breeding distribution of Oystercatcher
Probably breeding
Confirmed to be breeding in this area
Confirmed breeding sites
Probably breeding
Breeding distribution
General distribution:
Widespread breeding bird in Northern Europe, resident in the UK, numbers in Northern Scotland increase due to birds moving North in summer.
Usually nests on pebbles near the strand line of beaches but will also nest on grassy islands and rocky outcrops. Feeds on both rocky and muddy shores, on occasions it will also feed on grassland.
White wing bars
*Black wings and head
*Bright orange bill & eye
White rump and back with black tail
White underside
*Key ID points
Thanks to: (Modified)
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