Status and abundance of the African Black Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini at the eastern limit of its breeding range

  • C J Vernon PO Box 19592, Tecoma 5214, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Keywords: African Black Oystercatcher, breeding


From 1983 to 2004 the breeding population of African Black Oystercatchers along the East London coast has more than trebled. The population increase is probably due to immigration as local breeding success is low. There are three classes of birds: breeding pairs, tenants and visitors, and birds may change status during the breeding season. In the winter, birds aggregate into groups and some birds may disperse from the East London coast. The presence of African Black Oystercatchers in all months of the year shows that they are resident, but may only be resident in the general sense, and at a local level appear to be nomadic, wandering along the coast in search of resources and, in the summer, opportunities to breed. The birds remain at any locality only for as long as conditions are suitable, suggesting that the birds along the East London coast are mostly visitors that have dispersed from their natal areas in the south.

Ostrich 2004, 75(4): 243–249

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525