John T. Willis

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oystercatchers

While we are in New Zealand, every day we watch oystercatchers wading and eating and playing in the bay new Mount Monganui in Tauranga near the Pacific Ocean. Oystercatchers are in the Haematopodidae family and the Haematopus genus. They appear on coasts throughout the world. They are black on the top parts and white on the bottom, and have orange or red bills.

Until 1843, people called this bird a Sea Pie. Oystercatchers are very noisy. They use their bills to smash or pry open molluscs. Females are heavier than males, and their bills are longer than male bills. Oystercatchers feed on earthworms, insect larvae, bivalves, gastropods, limpets, mussels, chitons, echinoderms, fish, and crabs.

These birds are usually monogamous. They are territorial during the breeding season. Scholars have found that mates have nested at the same site for 20 years. These birds make their nests in the ground and lined and placed in a spot with good visibility. Their eggs are spotted and cryptic. They lay between 1 and 4 eggs. Males and females share the incubation period between 24 and 39 days.

During the 20th century, the Canarian Black Oystercatcher became extinct, and the Chatham Island Oystercatcher and the African Black Oystercatcher are endangered.

I hope YOU have seen, and appreciate Oystercatchers. This is another example of God's numerous creatures. Each creature has its own unique characteristics and usefulness on earth. Far beyond each creature, appreciate and honor the CREATOR of all that is.

Share YOUR thoughts and insights with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis