With its striking, bright orange bill, the Black Oystercatcher, Haematopus bachmani,
is one of the most easily identified shorebirds of the west coast of North America.
The Black Oystercatcher is a common crow-sized bird often seen foraging on rocky shores and in tidal pools for all types of food including mussels, worms and small shellfish, not just oysters as its common name suggests. Young birds must learn from their parents how to open food that has a hard shell.
Apart from its striking bill, the Black Oystercatcher has yellow eyes which are outlined in red and flesh-coloured legs. They are about 17 in/ 44 cm long and have a wingspan of 30-35 in/76-89 cm. Its overall black colour helps make it difficult to spot at times.
The Black Oystercatcher has a loud kee-kee-ah call
which is often heard before the bird is spotted.