Black Oystercatcher chicks spotted on Aramburu Island

The three chicks and one of their parents waddled around Aramburu Island. Photo: Kerry Wilcox

Black Oystercatchers have nested on Aramburu Island for the fourth year since major shoreline enhancement was completed. This year three chicks hatched! 

All three eggs hatched on or about June 21st, and three downy hatchlings were seen stumbling about the nest area soon after. Black Oystercatchers can lay up to three eggs, but two is more common.  Previous clutches on Aramburu, from what we believe to be the same pair of adult birds, have been limited to two eggs.  

As of July 19, we see only two of the three chicks, but both are eating well and looking healthy.  The young birds are about four weeks old at this point, and are likely to be able to fly (fledge) within a week or two.  Fledged birds will continue to stay with the parents for months, honing their feeding skills.

Shoreline reconstruction on Aramburu Island took place in late 2012, and oystercatchers made their first attempt at nesting in the spring of 2013.  The success of their breeding attempts points to the promise of such shoreline enhancement projects in other parts of the Bay and beyond!

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