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Books about Oysterctachers

The books are listed in order of publication date with the most recent at the top.

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Family: Haematopodidae
Genus: Haematopus

In the UK:

Eurasian Oystercatcher
Haematopus ostralegus


There are another 11 species of oystercatchers worldwide:

Magellanic Oystercatcher
Haematopus leucopodus

Blackish Oystercatcher
Haematopus ater

Black Oystercatcher
Haematopus bachmani

American Oystercatcher
Haematopus palliatus

Canary Islands Oystercatcher
Haematopus meadewaldoi

African Oystercatcher
Haematopus moquini

Pied Oystercatcher
Haematopus longirostris

South Island Oystercatcher
Haematopus finschi

Chatham Oystercatcher
Haematopus chathamensis

Variable Oystercatcher
Haematopus unicolor

Sooty Oystercatcher
Haematopus fuliginosus


Oystercatcher feeding and prey identification in the Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries Shellfisheries at Low Tide in Winter 2011/12

J. Bray, R.C. Taylor & N.H.K. Burton

BTO Research Report 611

British Trust For Ornithology


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Changes in Survival and Recruitment of Oystercatchers Haemotopus Ostralegus at Traeth Lafan, North Wales, in Relation to Shellfish Exploitation

Philip W. Atkinson

BTO Report 393

British Trust For Ornithology


"Traeth Lafan is an area of intertidal sand and mud flats located in Conwy Bay, to the eastern end of the Menai Straits. Traeth Lafan is notified as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for its use as a severe weather refuge for oystercatchers. The SCAN ringing group has ringing data on the Traeth Lafan oystercatchers going back over 25 years. It is a valuable resource, collected by volunteers, which has not yet been analysed. The data will be used by this study for two aims: firstly to help us understand the changing oystercatcher populations at Traeth Lafan, relating this where possible to past management activities; and secondly to input survival data into the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) study to model the shellfish requirements for the Traeth Lafan birds; a study which will inform future consents for shell fishery on the site."

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Assessing the Impacts of Shell-fishing and Mussel Farming on Oystercatcher Populations in the Wash, England, Phase 1: Identification of Model Parameters to Be Refined

Clark et al

BTO Report 354

British Trust For Ornithology


"This report describes behaviour-based models, and how an existing model has been used to predict the mortality rate of oystercatchers in the Wash. This model was able to distinguish between years of low and high oystercatcher mortality. Both predicted and observed mortality rates were low when shellfish were abundant, and high when shellfish were more rare. The model was also used to advise how shellfish stocks could be managed to maintain low oystercatcher mortality rates. However, the model does have some limitations and so the report describes the data that could be collected to increase confidence in the model's predictions."

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The Oystercatcher: From Individuals to Populations

John D. Goss-Custard

Oxford University Press


"This book reviews what is known about the behaviour and population ecology of a popular shorebird, from a scientific conservation perspective. The plight of this bird highlights the many conflicts of interest in coastal zones, between human activities such as shellfishing, land reclamation, barrage construction, and industrial pollution, and the needs of wildlife for food and suitable habitats. As well as detailing Oystercatcher natural history - including the well-known specialization in feeding technique shown by individuals - the authors use their field studies of individual variations in behaviour to produce population models. This novel approach provides tools for predicting how populations will respond to the many environmental changes to which the coastal zone is subject. It thus can play a role in coastal management schemes that seek to balance the needs of people and wildlife, and suggests that the same methods can be applied in other situtations."

Contents: Introduction; Part I: Individual Adaptations; Food and feeding behaviour; Prey size selection and intake rate; Specialization; Feeding with other Oystercatchers; Where to feed; How Oystercatchers survive the winter; Why do Oystercatchers migrate?; Life history decisions during the breeding season; Rearing to independence; Haematopus ostralegus in perspective: comparisons with other Oystercatchers; Part II: Population Ecology; Oystercatchers and man in the coastal zone; The carrying capacity of coastal habitats for Oystercatchers; Population dynamics: predicting the consequences of habitat change at the continental scale; Conclusions; References; Index.

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The Oystercatcher

Desmond Nethersole-Thompson

Shire Natural History


A study of the Oystercatcher with information on life history, voice, food and feeding, predators and pirates, flocking, and distribution.

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Shorebirds in Marine Environments

Frank A. Pitelka

Studies in Avian Biology No 2

Cooper Ornithological Society



  • Introduction: The Pacific Coast Shorebird Scene - Frank A. Pitelka
  • Aspects of the Occurrence of Shorebirds on a Central California Estuary - Gary W. Page, Lynne E. Stenzel, and Claire M. Wolfe
  • Habitat Utilization by Wintering and Migrating Shorebirds on Humboldt Bay, California - R. H. Gerstenberg
  • Banding Studies of Migrant Shorebirds in Northwestern Costa Rica - Susan M. Smith and F. Gary Stiles
  • Notes on Charadriiformes of the South Coast of Peru - R. A. Hughes
  • The Autumnal Migration of Baird's Sandpiper - Joseph R. Jehl, Jr.
  • Movements and Habitat Use by Wintering Populations of Willets and Marbled Godwits - Paul R. Kelly and Howard L. Cogswell
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper Migration in North America - B. A. Harrington and R. I. G. Morrison
  • Seasonal Habitat Use by Arctic Alaskan Shorebirds - P. G. Connors, J. P. Myers, and F. A. Pitelka
  • A Preliminary Assessment of Timing and Migration of Shorebirds Along the North Central Alaska Peninsula - Robert Gill, Jr. and Paul D. Jorgensen
  • Migratory Shorebird Populations on the Copper River Delta and Eastern Prince William Sound, Alaska - M. E. "Pete" Isleib
  • An Evaluation of the Copper River Delta as a Critical Habitat for Migrating Shorebirds - Stanley E. Senner
  • Results of the California Shorebird Survey - Ronald M. Jurek
  • Conservation and Management of Coastal Wetlands in California - John Speth
  • Shorebird Census Studies in Britain - A. J. Prater
  • Effect of Habitat Loss on the Numbers of Overwintering Shorebirds - J. D. Goss-Custard
  • Summarizing Remarks, Part 1 - Joseph R. Jehl, Jr.
  • Feeding Ecology of Black Oystercatchers on South Farallon Island, California (abstract only) - Stephen H. Morrell, Harriet R. Huber, T. James Lewis, and David G. Ainley
  • Seasonality of Summer Habitat and Social System of Red Phalaropes (abstract only) - Douglas Schamel and Diane Tracy
  • Availability and Utilization of Invertebrates as Shorebird Food on a Humboldt Bay Mudflat (abstract only) - L. F. Carrin, N. D. Holmberg, and S. W. Harris
  • Flocking Behavior in Wintering Dunlin (abstract only) - S. Shanewise and S. G. Herman
  • Biology of Shorebirds Summering on Enewetak Atoll - Oscar W. Johnson
  • Winter Ecology of a Black Oystercatcher Population - E. B. Hartwick and W. Blaylock
  • Feeding Ecology of Three Species of Plovers Wintering on the Bay of Panama, Central America - Joseph G. Strauch, Jr. and Lawrence G. Abele
  • Territoriality in Non-Breeding Shorebirds - J. P. Myers, P. G. Connors, and F. A. Pitelka
  • The Energetics of Foraging by Redshank, Tringa totanus - J. D. Goss-Custard
  • Summarizing Remarks, Part 2 - John A. Wiens

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Oystercatchers and Shellfish: Predator/Prey Studies

J.D. Goss-Custard, Selwyn McGrorty and Chris Reading

Institute of Terrestrial Ecology


"In 1976, research was started on the role of the oystercatcher in determining the abundance of the mussel, a common intertidal shellfish. There were two main reasons for undertaking this research. First, we wished to study a fundamental ecological process, namely the interaction between a predator and its prey. Second, we wanted to improve our understanding of the impact which these wading birds have on commercial stocks of shellfish, when compared with other factors such as weather or predation by fish. This impact has aroused considerable controversy in recent years so the research has an immediate and practical value as well as adding to our knowledge of predator/prey relationships generally. The interactions between a predator and its prey are complex, but they can be subdivided into a number of simpler relationships for the purposes of analysis. For example, the feeding rate of a predator in relation to the density of its prey is an important part of the overall predator/prey interaction and one form the relationship may take is shown in Figure 1. In the past, ecologists have been content to describe such relationships qualitatively rather than quantitatively. More recently, attempts have been m6de to describe these relationships quantitatively through the use of mathematical models. Once the validity of a model has been tested, the role of various factors, singly and in combination, may be explored by changing the parameters of the model. It should also be possible to use the same model to make more precise predictions of the effects of human impact on natural communities."

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Ecological And Behavioural Evidence For The Systematic Status Of New Zealand Oystercatchers (Charadriiformes: Haematopodidae)

Allan J. Baker

Life sciences contributions, no. 96

Royal Ontario Museum


Opening lines: "Genetic isolation between the mainland New Zealand species of oystercatcher is maintained by species differences in habitat selection, niche utilization, food requirements, breeding biology and pair formation."

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The Breeding And Wintering Populations Of The Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus Linnaeus) In The British Isles

P.J. Dare

Fishery Investigations, Series II: Volume XXV No. 5

Ministry Of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food

Her Majesty's Stationery Office


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Last updated September 2013