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Birding Málaga


Common name Eurasian oystercatcher
Scientific name Haematopus ostralegus
Type Seabirds
Status Migrator

Large wader bird (approx 44 cm or 17.5 in), unmistakable. Black upperparts, throat, breast and head; white underparts. Large bill, red or intense orange. Pink legs. Red eyes and ring. Outside the breeding season it presents a white throat collar.


Marine environment

Where it lives

Species linked to the coast with a preference for sandy beaches, dunes, estuaries or marshes with little human presence.

How it lives

Wintering species in the province and also present during its migratory passages. It breeds from April. Nest on the ground. One annual laying of 3 eggs. The Eurasian Oystercatcher feeds on earthworms, marine worms and insects caught in the mud of the shores during the low tide, but it is also a consumer of molluscs and crabs. This wader's powerful bill allows it to take out limpets, open bivalves and pierce the hard shell of crustaceans.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

During summer and autumn it is frequent to observe it at the mouth of the Guadalhorce. In migratory passage it can be seen in the Punta de Calaburras (Mijas).

Curious facts

Its Latin name refers to the blood colour of its legs ("hemantos-pus") and to its preference for choosing molluscs as food ("ostrea-legere"). It is a very frequent and abundant bird in the Cantabrian coasts, where it is known as "piper" due to the whistling it emits.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration