An Oystercatcher Feeding Its Chick

Wednesday, September 11, 2019,

Here’s a trio of photographs of an adult American Oystercatcher bringing food to the table, I mean, beach. The unlucky breakfast item is a Mole Crab, a favored menu item here at Nickerson Beach. Oystercatchers enjoy a varied diet. At other locations, I have seen them tackling Mussels and other bivalves.

Mom, or Dad – both parents feed their youngsters – dig up the Mole Crabs and bring them to their chicks. At this age the young Oystercatcher probably already knows some of the basics of foraging but its folks are still looking out for it. It takes lot of work to produce the next generation but that’s what it takes for the continuation of the species.And these guys are a truly beautiful species. JK



Catching Mole Crabs

Tuesday, August 27. 2019,

This is an Oystercatcher with a freshly caught Mole Crab. Its head is still soaking wet from digging up the unlucky crustacean from the sand beneath the incoming waves. Generally, the Oystercatchers follow the receding waves and try to dig out the Mole Crabs from their burrows before the next incoming wave arrives. As you can see from the above photo, the Oystercatchers are not always as quick as they might wish to be. JK


Sanderling vs. Mole Crab

Wednesday, August 14, 2019,

This is a Sanderling, a fairly common shorebird, and that is a Mole Crab having a bad day. Mole Crabs, also known as Sand Crabs are quite numerous here on the south shore. They are a favorite meal of other shorebirds, including Oystercatchers. Mole Crabs make their living by burrowing into the sand at the surf zone and filter plankton and other detritus from the water. As you can see, Sanderlings make at least part of their living by digging up and eating Mole Crabs. It’s a Sanderling eat Mole Crab world at the sea shore. JK