Friday, October 16, 2009

Oystercatcher Eye Flecks

Erika and I came eye-to-eye with a Black Oystercatcher in January 2008 near Morro Bay, California. I was amazed at the odd shape of the bird's pupil. It turns out that the odd shape is caused by black pigment on the oystercatcher's iris. Furthermore, this mark can be used to tell the oystercatcher's sex. For more information see: Secrets in the eyes of Black Oystercatchers: a new sexing technique. Brian M. Guzzetti, Sandra L. Talbot, David F. Tessler, Verena A. Gill and Edward C. Murphy Journal of Field Ornithology Volume 79 Issue 2, Pages 215 - 223 Published Online: 3 Jun 2008.

We came across an American Oystercatcher in September 2009 at Martha's Vineyard. It also has an iris fleck. Note the bands on this bird. We submitted this photo to the Bird Banding Office but have not heard where the bird was banded.

No comments:

Post a Comment