Oystercatchers Trying It

This is a pair of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus), which looked like they might be attempting to copulate. (I was temped to say, "feinting mating" ;). They clearly did not manage it -- the maneuver probably lasted under three seconds (the 13 continuous shots I took went registered from 32 seconds past the minute to 34 seconds).

We're at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary in Westport Mass., where I have been coming fairly regularly for five years; the main target birds are piping plovers and least terns. The terns haven't yet arrived, but the plovers were around and I promise one for tomorrow. Oystercatchers are much harder to see here, though there is usually one at least one pair which nests in the immediate area each season--this pair may be it.

A birding guide told a group a few years ago: A bird that "looks like it's wearing a tuxedo and smoking a carrot" must be an oystercatcher.

As I noted yesterday, there's a page on my website displaying coastal birds, including a straight shot of an oystercatcher.

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