General Description

The head, neck, breast and upperparts are black, though the rump is white and there is a white bar across each wing. Underneath, from the belly to the tail is white. The bill is long and orange-red. The ring around the eye is also orange-red and the iris is red. The legs and feet are pink. Bill to tail length is up to 50 cm.


Pied Oystercatchers forage on beaches, intertidal mudflats, reefs and rocks, usually at low tide. They eat molluscs, worms, crabs and small fish. They use their bill to prise open bivalve molluscs such as pipis. The birds form pairs during the breeding season but gather in flocks in the non-breeding season. They nest on beaches, shores of estuaries, sand spits, banks and small islands. The nest is a simple scrape in the sand, and the usual clutch size is two eggs.


Mainland Australian and Tasmanian coasts.


Coastal habitats including sandy ocean beaches, sand banks and intertidal mudflats.

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