American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)

American oystercatcher

The American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) is named for its habit of feeding on osyters.

The American oystercatcher, once faced with the threat of extinction, is common in South Carolina estuaries (where rivers meet the sea). South Carolina is home to year-round populations, as well as one of the largest wintering populations on the U.S. Atlantic coast. The American oystercatcher nests on sandy beaches, shell mounds, and marsh islands. Its diet consists mainly of oysters and small clams, but it also feeds on snails, barnacles, fiddler crabs, worms, and aquatic insects.