A Variable Oyster Catcher looks along the beach at Ocean Bay in Port Underwood in the Marlborough District of the South Island of New Zealand. These birds are native to New Zealand and they are a species of wader birds, meaning they spend most of their time on the beaches looking for food.
The word 'Variable' in their name actually refers to the plumage on their front, which can be a mottled white and black colour to all black, like this bird has. The all black birds like this are more common on the South Island. Their primary diet consists of molluscs, crabs, and marine worms and sometimes earth worms, not oysters like their name suggests.
They do however, have an excellent shaped bill for prying open the shell of any shellfish to get to what is inside. Their orange bill is what makes them so easy to spot along the beaches while they search for their next meal.
These birds are often not by themselves, and once they mate with another bird, they mate for life. Most of the time they are seen with their breeding pair along the beach and it is likely that this ones' pair is not too far out of the picture.
Variable Oyster Catcher, Haematopus unicolor, along the beach at Ocean Bay, Port Underwood, Marlborough District, South Island, New Zealand.
I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, aperture of f/6.3, exposure time of 1/500 sec. on ISO 400, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 365mm.
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