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A photo of a Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus)
Sooty Oystercatcher

Sooty Oystercatcher

Haematopus fuliginosus

The sooty oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus) is a species of oystercatcher. It is a wading bird endemic to Australia and commonly found on its coastline. It prefers rocky coastlines, but will occasionally live in estuaries. All of its feathers are black. It has a red eye, eye ring and bill, and pink legs. Measuring 42 to 52 cm long with a bill length of 5–8 cm, the sooty oystercatcher has all black plumage, with pink-red legs and scarlet or orange-red bill and eyes. Males have shorter, thicker bills and females have longer, thinner bills. The 19% average difference in length is the most marked of any oystercatcher species. Immature birds have grey-brown legs, a bill tipped with brown, a browner cast to their plumage, and brown eyes. The bill, eyes and legs become red by the second year.
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