I’ve been going through some of my older files and reculling them the past few days. I’ve kept far more images than I should have but I have learned a lot since those photos were taken and have become more discriminating about which files I truly want to keep. When I came across the folder these American Oystercatcher images were in I decided to share a few.
I came across this Oystercatcher as it was foraging along the shoreline just beyond where the waves break. The Gulf must have been rough during the night because all kinds of shells and turtle grasses had been pushed onto the shore, because the tide was going out the shorebirds had discovered that some of the mollusks were still alive and were poking around looking for something to eat. This bird was tugging on the Penn Shell to see if the meat was still inside.
Some of the Oystercatchers were digging in the sand with their bills searching for prey that might have been covered in the sand. This bird was really getting into it!
American Oystercatchers use their long, thin bills to pry open the shells of clams, oysters and other bivalves, the one above worked on the Calico Shell for several minutes before a rogue wave washed it back into the Gulf.
I was laying down in the wet sand with my lens about an inch from the surface of the beach when I photographed these shorebirds, one needs to watch out for those rogue waves because they don’t only wash away the bird’s prey… they can soak your lens & camera too! That never happened to me but it always pays to be cautious.