Haematopodidae – Oystercatchers

The haematopodidae or Oystercatchers is a family of shorebirds containing only one genus haematopus. This genus contains 12 species of Oystercatchers. These birds are normally called as waders. Their old name was sea pie. It is one of the birds that start with alphabet H. Below are the fast facts.

  • Type: Bird
  • Scientific name: Haematopus
  • Common Name: Oystercatcher
  • Higher Classification: Charadriidae
  • Conservation Status: Least concern
  • Weight: 526 – 819 grams
  • Length: 15 – 20 inches
  • Top Speed: 30 mph
  • Average wing span: 28 – 36 inches
  • Average Number of eggs laid: 1 – 4, normally 2 or 3
  • Incubation Period: 24 – 39 days; varies specie to specie
  • Average life span: 35 – 40 years
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Preys: Earthworm, larvae, limpets, mussels, oysters, chitons, fish, crabs
  • Predators: Bird of prey; raccoons prey on eggs
  • Habitat: shores, river banks, lakes
  • Distribution: Worldwide except South East Asia and some tropical regions of Africa


They have long red or orange bills. Their legs and paws are pink. There are some variations in appearance in all species. The plumage of some species is all black and for other species it is dark brown or black on top and white underneath. These birds defend their territory in the breeding season. Some species defend their territory whole year. Their breeding season is summer and they build their nests on ground. They also some thimes lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species such as seagul; this phenomena is called egg dumping. The conservation status for one species is endangered and one other species is near threat. One species became extinct during the 20th centurey. The conservation status for all other species is listed as least concern.

Detailed information can be found from WikiPedia