Your La Jolla "American" Oystercatcher


A group of us, including Mel Senac, recently returned from birding Costa Rica. While there, Mel asked another participant, Steve Howell, about our much discussed "American" Oystercatcher. Mel showed him multiple photos that have been taken. With his enigmatic little laugh, Steve said that's a hybrid; way too much black on its rump. He continued by saying that he's looked at thousands of oystercatchers and these La Jolla photos just don't hold up.

Why might Steve N. G. Howell's opinion matter?

Like Paul Lehman was, Steve still is an esteemed leader for the birding company WINGS for many, many years. He was there as a participant of the group, not as the leader, so he could study and photograph the molt pattern of swifts. He has written and published many books on birding, including but not limited to, books on hummingbirds, gulls, and pelagic birds: 

He has also written A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America, which is currently being redone, and waiting for the illustrations to be finished. So he just might know quite a bit about oystercatchers.

Just the messenger,

Barbara Carlson
San Diego

P.S. The link doesn't come out in Spanish when you click on it.

P.P.S. Our local eBird reviewers still have it under consideration. Again acting as the messenger....