The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

African Black Oystercatcher

Afrikaans name: Swarttobie

African Black Oystercatchers on rocks

Photo © EcoView - Fotolia.com

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

Two Oceans - Author: Branch, Griffiths, Branch and Beckley - Published: 2010 - Page: 348

Wading Birds of the World - Revised edition - Author: Eric and Richard Soothill - Published: 1989 - Page: 142

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

Wild Issue 49 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 76

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 80

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 42

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 97

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

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 15

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 137

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 158

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

Shorebirds - Author: P. Hayman, J. Marchant, T. Prater - Published: 1986 - Page: 226

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 67

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

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 156

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 164

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

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 124

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 124

Nature in the Balance - Author: Rob Marsh - Published: 1991 - Page: 33

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 124

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 410

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 116

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 77

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 55

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

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 92

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 143

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

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 109

BirdLife South Africa


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List of South African Birds

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