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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Black Oystercatcher chicks have appeared on the Mendonoma Coast - and they look like little rocks

June is when the first Black Oystercatcher chicks are born. Haematopus bachmani is their Latin name and they are found on the Pacific Coast, from Baja to Alaska. They are a noisy bird - a Sightings contributor deemed them "chattery." They nest on rocky perches and you will see their chicks look like little rocks, giving them a measure of camouflage.

This first photo was taken by Coastal photographer, Craig Tooley. There are three chicks in the photo.

 And the photo below was taken by John Batchelder. I see only two chicks in John's photo.
To hear their call, here's a link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Thanks to John and Craig for allowing me to share their photos here. To see more of Craig Tooley's wildlife photographs, here's the link to his website:

1 comment:

Jeanne Jackson said...

John Batchelder had these comments regarding the nest he photographed: "The photo I sent does show only two chicks, but at that time the third was present but down lower out of sight being fed by what I believe is the male oystercatcher (blacker). The lighter (reddish cast to the black) of the two adults, which I believe is the female, is the individual that appeared to have stayed closest to the chicks and sat on the “nest” since they hatched. That “nest” location did move around the local area a bit based on the mother’s judgment as the chicks matured. The nest itself was not constructed with twigs etc. like many birds prefer, it seems to have been a topographic depression in the rocks and thus could be moved as appropriate. The male remains very involved and has stationed itself slightly more distant to act as security for the chicks when it was not hunting and feeding the chicks. Thanks, again. John"