A juvenile American Oystercatcher on the shore of the Gulf

/, Birds, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County/A juvenile American Oystercatcher on the shore of the Gulf

Juvenile American Oystercatcher on the shoreJuvenile American Oystercatcher on the shore – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/750, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

American Oystercatchers were among my favorite shorebirds to photograph when I lived in Florida in part because it seemed they were always around and in part because I think they are beautiful and unusual looking. There are only two species of oystercatchers in North America, Black Oystercatchers and American Oystercatchers. Photographing the Black Oystercatchers is still on my bucket list.

I watched this juvenile American Oystercatcher on the shore of the Gulf grow up in 2008 at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach. I started watching and photographing from the second day after it hatched and watched it learn how to fly when it was older. There were two chicks in the brood and this one hung around the adults much longer than its sibling. The dark eyes and dark tipped orange bill indicate that this is an juvenile, the bills of adult are pure orange and their eyes are a lemony yellow with reddish orange rings around the eyes.

I still missing seeing, hearing and photographing these shorebirds and even dream about them at times.

Life is good



  1. Utahbooklover January 21, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I Love the Florida coast the coast in the spring. Sounds like a pleasant dream.

  2. Patty Chadwick January 21, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Beautiful colors…black, white, brillianr orangey-red!

  3. Nancy Collins January 21, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Always a treat to cross paths with this bird! Nice image Mia!

  4. Catherine January 21, 2016 at 8:25 am

    I’d love to see one of these. We have the Black Oystercatcher out here. It’s our Audubon chapter’s bird.

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