“In January 2013, repeat visits to the Estuary of Avon/Heathcote (South Island, New Zealand) provided opportunities to observe the feeding activity of the South Island Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus finschi, Maori name: Torea) (above).
“With its long, orange bill, it would probe into the sediment in search of live cockles, even in shallow water (above).
“With the cockles clammed tightly at the tip of its bill, the oystercatcher would bring it up to exposed substrate for better maneuverability (above).
“With its bill slightly parted, it efficiently pries the cockle open to reach for and relish the salty and succulent flesh within (above).
Dr Leong Tzi Ming
17th February 2013