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American Oystercatcher     Haematopus palliatus

The American Oystercatcher can be found in most coastal areas from Massachusetts to the Gulf Coast; from the Caribbean south to Argentina; and along the Pacific Coast from Chile to Baja California.  It is mostly a residential bird; however, a few that breed from Maryland northward will migrate south during the winter months..

In Florida, the American Oystercatcher has a local breeding population that breeds along most of Florida’s coastline.  They breed from March through July.  They lay their eggs in a shallow scrapes along sparsely vegetated beaches or on spoil islands.  However, coastal development and shoreline armoring have resulted in widespread habitat loss.  As a result, Florida, along with several other coastal states, have listed this species as a Threatened Species.

The photos on this page were taken in Estero Lagoon (Lee County), Fort DeSoto (Pinellas County), and Gasparilla Island and Port Charlotte Beach (Charlotte County).