Australian Pied Oystercatcher

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Haematopus longirostris


Size 42-50cm.

Attractive, conspicuous dumpy black and white wader. Black except for white rump which is noticeable in flight. Underparts are white. Straight bright red/orange bill, red eye, short bright pink/red legs. Usually seen in pairs or small groups. The call is a piping trill in flight.

Feeding Habits

The blade like bill is well suited for prising apart bivalve shells and probing for marine worms and molluscs.


Prefer a site with a wide uninterrupted view. Nest July- January above the high tide mark in a scrape on sand or in seaweed or pebbles often near driftwood. Two to three cream speckled brown eggs. Both parents share in raising the young which leave the nest within days of hatching.

Places to Look

Sandy beaches, mudflats, sandspits, inlets and bays. Seldom seen along rocky shorelines.


Feeding, roosting and nesting birds are vulnerable to unrestrained dogs, feral cats, beach vehicles.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

© Birdlife Townsville
© Birdlife Townsville
© Birdlife Townsville

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