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Sooty Oystercatcher probing for marine worms

on 20th January 2019
Video grab.

The video of a Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus) probing for marine worms in the mudflat during low tide was documented in Victor Harbor, South Australia in October 2016 (above).

Here, the oystercatcher moves about probing its sharp red bill into the exposed sand or mud at a rapid speed looking for polychaetes – segmented marine worms with numerous bristles by the side of each segment. At 0:11, 0:21, 0:23; 0:56… minutes of the video it can be seen that the oystercatcher succeeded in pulling out a polychaete.

Video grab.

Even with the incoming tide covering the ground, the oystercatchers continues with its probing (above, below).

Video grab.

Oystercatchers are so successful in such forages that they are known to capture prey faster than they can digest them. Thus, oystercatchers need to rest between foraging sessions to allow time for the digestive system to handle the food.

Teo Lee Wei & T
Singapore
20th December 2018

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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