Eurasian oystercatcher

The masters of catching oysters, clams, and cockles

Rhododendrites

With its striking black and white plumage and distinctive red beak, it is undoubtedly one of the most iconic waders found across its range. Renowned for its elegance and adaptability, this species holds a prominent place in coastal ecosystems and is a subject of fascination for birdwatchers and researchers alike.

Despite its name, the Eurasian Oystercatcher is not exclusively confined to oyster-rich habitats. While it does indeed feed on mollusks like oysters, mussels, and cockles, it also has a varied diet that includes worms, crustaceans, and insects. This adaptability allows it to thrive in a range of coastal environments, from saline marshes and sandy beaches to rocky shores and estuaries.

During the breeding season, the Eurasian Oystercatcher exhibits a preference for nesting in saline marshes and on sandy beaches. However, it is not uncommon to find breeding pairs inland, in agricultural areas or near bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. This flexibility in habitat selection reflects the species’ ability to adapt to diverse landscapes and environmental conditions.

In terms of distribution, the Eurasian Oystercatcher is widespread across Western Europe, Central Eurasia, Kamchatka, China, and the western coast of Korea during the breeding season. As the seasons change, it embarks on a southward migration to warmer regions, with some individuals wintering in North Africa and others along the coastlines of southern Europe. Even inland breeders join their coastal counterparts during the winter months, highlighting the species’ propensity for seasonal movements and nomadic behavior.

The conservation status of the Eurasian Oystercatcher varies across its range, with populations facing different threats and challenges. Habitat loss, pollution, disturbance, and climate change are among the key factors impacting the species’ long-term survival. Conservation efforts aimed at protecting crucial breeding and foraging habitats, reducing human disturbance, and mitigating the effects of climate change are essential for safeguarding the future of this iconic wader.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2019
Passage
Albania
2019
Algeria
2019
Non-Breeding
Austria
2019
Breeding
Azerbaijan
2019
Bahrain
2019
Bangladesh
2019
Non-Breeding
Belarus
2019
Breeding
Belgium
2019
Bosnia And Herz.
2019
Breeding
Bulgaria
2019
Cape Verde
2019
Non-Breeding
China
2019
Croatia
2019
Passage
Cyprus
2019
Passage
Czechia
2019
Passage
Côte D’ivoire
2019
Non-Breeding
Denmark
2019
Djibouti
2019
Non-Breeding
Egypt
2019
Non-Breeding
Eritrea
2019
Non-Breeding
Estonia
2019
Breeding
Ethiopia
2019
Non-Breeding
Faroe Islands
2019
Finland
2019
France
2019
Gambia
2019
Non-Breeding
Georgia
2019
Germany
2019
Ghana
2019
Non-Breeding
Gibraltar
2019
Passage
Greece
2019
Guinea-Bissau
2019
Non-Breeding
Guinea
2019
Non-Breeding
Hungary
2019
Passage
Iceland
2019
India
2019
Iran
2019
Iraq
2019
Non-Breeding
Ireland
2019
Israel
2019
Passage
Italy
2019
Japan
2019
Non-Breeding
Jordan
2019
Passage
Kazakhstan
2019
Breeding
Kenya
2019
Non-Breeding
Korea
2019
Kuwait
2019
Kyrgyzstan
2019
Latvia
2019
Libya
2019
Non-Breeding
Lithuania
2019
Breeding
Malta
2019
Passage
Mauritania
2019
Non-Breeding
Moldova
2019
Breeding
Montenegro
2019
Breeding
Morocco
2019
Non-Breeding
Myanmar
2019
Netherlands
2019
Nigeria
2019
Non-Breeding
North Korea
2019
Breeding
North Macedonia
2019
Norway
2019
Oman
2019
Pakistan
2019
Non-Breeding
Poland
2019
Breeding
Portugal
2019
Non-Breeding
Qatar
2019
Romania
2019
Russia
2019
Breeding
Saudi Arabia
2019
Non-Breeding
Senegal
2019
Non-Breeding
Serbia
2019
Breeding
Sierra Leone
2019
Non-Breeding
Slovakia
2019
Passage
Somalia
2019
Non-Breeding
Spain
2019
Sri Lanka
2019
Non-Breeding
Sudan
2019
Non-Breeding
Sweden
2019
Switzerland
2019
Passage
Syria
2019
Passage
Taiwan
2019
Non-Breeding
Tajikistan
2019
Passage
Tanzania
2019
Non-Breeding
Tunisia
2019
Non-Breeding
Turkey
2019
Turkmenistan
2019
Breeding
UAE
2019
Ukraine
2019
United Kingdom
2019
Uzbekistan
2019
Breeding
Yemen
2019

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Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No