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Haematopus ostralegus (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Ordo: Charadriiformes
Subordo: Charadrii

Familia: Haematopodidae
Genus: Haematopus
Species: Haematopus ostralegus
Subspecies: H. o. buturlini – H. o. longipes – H. o. osculans – H. o. ostralegus

Haematopus ostralegus Linnaeus, 1758

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio Decima, Reformata. Tomus I. Holmiæ (Stockholm): impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii. 824 pp. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.542 BHL p. 152 BHL Reference page.

Vernacular names
Afrikaans: Bonttobie
العربية: صائد المحار الأوراسي
asturianu: Levantallámpares
azərbaycanca: Sağsağanı alacüllüt
башҡортса: Ҡом һайыҫҡаны
беларуская (тарашкевіца): Крывок
беларуская: Крывок
български: Стридояд
brezhoneg: Morbig-Eurazia
català: Garsa de mar eurasiàtica
čeština: Ústřičník velký
Cymraeg: Pioden fôr
dansk: Strandskade
Deutsch: Austernfischer
Ελληνικά: Στρειδοφάγος
English: Eurasian Oystercatcher
Esperanto: Eŭrazia hematopo
español: Ostrero euroasiático
eesti: Merisk
euskara: Itsas mika
فارسی: صدف‌خوار اوراسیایی
suomi: Meriharakka
føroyskt: Tjaldur
Nordfriisk: Liiw
français: Huîtrier pie
Frysk: Strânljip
Gaeilge: Gobadán
Gàidhlig: Gille-Brìghde
galego: Gabita
ગુજરાતી: અબલખ
Gaelg: Bridgeen
עברית: שלצדף החוף
hrvatski: Oštrigar
magyar: Csigaforgató
հայերեն: Կաչաղակ կտցար
íslenska: Tjaldur
italiano: Beccaccia di mare
日本語: ミヤコドリ
ქართული: სირკაჭკჭი
қазақша: Қараала балшықшы
한국어: 검은머리물떼새
коми: Катша бордъя утка
Lëtzebuergesch: Mierkréi
lietuvių: Jūrinė šarka
latviešu: Jūras žagata
македонски: Властелица остригер
മലയാളം: കടൽമണ്ണാത്തി
кырык мары: Алавӹтельӹ
मराठी: शंखिनी
Bahasa Melayu: Burung Tetiram
Malti: Gallina tal-Baħar
Plattdüütsch: Liewe
नेपाली: सिपी चरा
Nederlands: Scholekster
norsk nynorsk: Tjeld
norsk: Tjeld
Diné bizaad: Tó wónaanídę́ę́ʼ tábąąh chʼosh haalzheehii
polski: Ostrygojad zwyczajny
português: Ostraceiro-europeu
rumantsch: Austrel
română: Scoicar
русский: Кулик-сорока
Scots: Sea-pyot
davvisámegiella: Cagán
slovenčina: Lastúrničiar strakatý
slovenščina: Školjkarica
shqip: Laraska e detit
српски / srpski: Ostrigar - Остригар
svenska: Strandskata
Kiswahili: Kizamichaza
தமிழ்: ஐரோவாசியா சிப்பிபிடிப்பான்
Türkçe: Bayağı poyraz kuşu
українська: Кулик-сорока
Tiếng Việt: Chim mò sò
Zeêuws: Bonte piet
中文: 蛎鹬

The Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) also known as the common pied oystercatcher, or palaearctic oystercatcher,[2] or (in Europe) just oystercatcher, is a wader in the oystercatcher bird family Haematopodidae. It is the most widespread of the oystercatchers, with three races breeding in western Europe, central Eurosiberia, Kamchatka, China, and the western coast of Korea. No other oystercatcher occurs within this area. The extinct Canary Islands oystercatcher (Haematopus meadewaldoi), formerly considered a distinct species, may have actually been an isolated subspecies or distinct population of the Eurasian oystercatcher.[3]

This oystercatcher is the national bird of the Faroe Islands.

The Eurasian oystercatcher was listed by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae under the binomial name Haemotopus ostralegus.[4] The genus name Haematopus combines the Ancient Greek haima αἳμα meaning "blood" and pous πούς meaning "foot". The specific epithet ostralegus combines the Latin ostrea meaning "oyster" and legere meaning "to gather".[5]

The name "oystercatcher" was coined by Mark Catesby in 1731 as a common name for the North American species H. palliatus, described as eating oysters.[6] Yarrell in 1843 established this as the preferred term, replacing the older name Sea Pie.[6]

Four subspecies are recognised:[7]

H. o. ostralegus Linnaeus, 1758 – breeds Iceland to Scandinavia and south Europe, winters in west Africa
H. o. longipes Buturlin, 1910 – breeds Ukraine and Turkey to central Russia and west Siberia, winters in east Africa
H. o. buturlini Dementiev, 1941 – breeds west Kazakhstan to northwest China, winters in southwest Asia and India
H. o. osculans Swinhoe, 1871 – breeds Kamchatka Peninsula, Korean Peninsula, and northeast China, winters in east China

Eurasian oystercatcher flying on Loch Sligachan on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

The oystercatcher is one of the largest waders in the region. It is 40–45 cm (16–18 in) long, the bill accounting for 8–9 cm (3–3+1⁄2 in), and has a wingspan of 80–85 cm (31–33 in).[8] They are obvious and noisy plover-like birds, with black and white plumage, red legs and strong broad red bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs such as mussels or for finding earthworms.[8] Despite its name, oysters do not form a large part of its diet. The bird still lives up to its name, as few if any other wading birds are capable of opening oysters at all.

This oystercatcher is unmistakable in flight, with white patches on the wings and tail, otherwise black upperparts, and white underparts. Young birds are more brown, have a white neck collar and a duller bill. The call is a distinctive loud piping.

The bill shape varies; oystercatchers with broad bill tips open molluscs by prising them apart or hammering through the shell, whereas pointed-bill birds dig up worms. Much of this is due to the wear resulting from feeding on the prey. Individual birds specialise in one technique or the other which they learn from their parents.[8] It shows clinal variation with an increase from west to east. The subspecies longipes has distinctly brownish upperparts and the nasal groove extends more than halfway along the bill. In the subspecies ostralegus the nasal groove stops short of the half-way mark. The osculans subspecies lacks white on the shafts of the outer 2–3 primaries and has no white on the outer webs of the outer five primaries.[9]
Distribution and migration

The oystercatcher is a migratory species over most of its range. The European population breeds mainly in northern Europe, but in winter the birds can be found in north Africa and southern parts of Europe. Although the species is present all year in Ireland, Great Britain and the adjacent European coasts, there is still migratory movement: the large flocks that are found in the estuaries of south-west England in winter mainly breed in northern England or Scotland. Similar movements are shown by the Asian populations. The birds are highly gregarious outside the breeding season.

The nest is a bare scrape on pebbles, on the coast or on inland gravelly islands. Two to four eggs are laid. Both eggs and chicks are highly cryptic.
Because of its large numbers and readily identified behaviour, the oystercatcher is an important indicator species for the health of the ecosystems where it congregates. Extensive long-term studies have been carried out on its foraging behaviour in northern Germany, the Netherlands, and particularly on the River Exe estuary in south-west England.[10] These studies form an important part of the foundation for the modern discipline of behavioural ecology.


BirdLife International (2019). "Haematopus ostralegus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T22693613A154998347. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T22693613A154998347.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
"Eurasian Oystercatcher". Avibase.
"Extinct Canary Island bird was not a unique species after all, DNA tests prove". Retrieved 2019-10-17.
Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 152.
Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 184, 286. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Lockwood, W. B. (1993). The Oxford Dictionary of British Bird Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-866196-2.
Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2021). "Buttonquail, thick-knees, sheathbills, plovers, oystercatchers, stilts, painted-snipes, jacanas, Plains-wanderer, seedsnipes". IOC World Bird List Version 11.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
The Birds of the Western Palearctic (Abridged ed.). Oxford University Press. 1997. ISBN 0-19-854099-X.
Hayman, Peter; Marchant, John; Prater, Tony (1986). Shorebirds: An Identification Guide to the Waders of the World. London: Croom Helm. ISBN 978-0395602379.
Goss-Custard, J. D. (Ed.) (1996). The Oystercatcher: From Individuals to Populations. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198546474

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