american-oystercatcher-chick-mia-mcpherson-7865Resting American Oystercatcher juvenile – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

This juvenile American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) belonged to a family that I followed for a few months at Fort De Soto County Park in Florida from the time the chicks were two days old until they left the adults. I’d written about them here.

I like the resting pose and the eye contact I got from the young Oystercatcher and the background of the Spartina marsh. It was a great deal of fun to observe and photograph this Oystercatcher family for three and a half months.

American Oystercatcher adultAmerican Oystercatcher adult – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

I was on on Egmont Key when I photographed this adult American Oystercatcher, I was in a Florida Master Naturalist class at the time and we spent the day there.  The class instructor cut her foot open while jumping off of the boat she came on, I cut my knee open and ruined a brand new pair of hiking pants by kneeling on a broken shell within ten minutes of getting off of the ferry from Fort De Soto and about mid day we saw a boat get swamped by waves on the western shore of the island. Despite all of those mishaps it was a great day to be out there.

I adored the color of the water in the background of this image, a wonderful turquoise blue that reminded me of the Caribbean. Or the water off of the coast of New South Wales.

I don’t get to see or photograph Oystercatchers here in Utah but I still dream about these shorebirds and can hear their calls when I look at the thousands of images I took of them.