Oystercatcher (South Island Pied) Haematopus ostralegus finschi
Species: H. ostralegus
Binomial name: Haematopus ostralegus finschi
Common name: South Island Pied Oystercatcher, Torea
South Island Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus finschi) is about 23 cm high and weighs about 120 g. Its back is a greenish black and the lower body and over the tail is white. The eye, bill and legs are crimson and it has a white band on the wings and a white tab above the folded wing.
Haematopus ostralegus finschi is one of two species of oystercatchers that occur in New Zealand. The South Island pied oystercatcher is only sub specifically different from the European bird (Haematopus ostralegus) as compared to the variable oystercatcher (Haematopus unicolor), which is a species found only in New Zealand.
The South Island pied oystercatcher breeds only in the South Island mainly inland east of the Southern Alps, from Marlborough to Southland, on shingle riverbeds and farmland. Birds move back to their breeding areas from June to September. Following the completion of breeding, which is usually by late December, The birds migrate to coastal sites within New Zealand with greatest numbers occurring at northern harbours and at Farewell Spit. Birds from southern populations moving north for the winter may travel distances as great as 1300K. Some of the reported locations of roosting sites of the Pied Oystercatchers are Whangarei Harbour, Kaipara Harbour, Wade River, Manukau Harbour, Waitemata Harbour, Tamaki Estuary, Orewa Rivermouth, Matarangi, Coromandel Peninsula, Firth of Thames, Tauranga Harbour, Port Waikato, Kawhia Harbour, Wanganui Rivermouth, Farewell Spit, Pakawau, Motueka Estuary, Waimea Estuary, Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Lyttelton Harbour, Akaroa Harbour, and Otago Harbour.
Photographed at Lake Kaniere, Hokotika, South Island
Photographed at Fortrose, South Island
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