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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

African Black Oystercatcher

Afrikaans name: Swarttobie

African Black Oystercatchers on rocks

Photo © EcoView -

Haematopus moquini

The African Black Oystercatcher is an attractive bird that is only found along the coastline of southern Africa, including the offshore islands.

Both male and female are black with red legs and bill. Juveniles are more grey and their legs and bills only turn red as they grow older.

They have a bodly length of just over 40 cm and they weigh around 700 grams with females being heavier than males.

The main food items of this bird are mussels and limpets although it has been recorded feeding on insects and catching fish.

They live an amazingly long life of up to 35 years.


References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 143

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 77

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 27

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 410

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 218

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 216

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 162

The Coastal Guide of South Africa - Author: Jacana Media - Year Published: 2007 - Page: 100

Wild Issue 33 - Author: - Year Published: 2015 - Page: 14

List of South African Birds

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